Don’t Let A Zebra Pass You By: Matthew 24:36-41
““36) But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭36‬ ‭
We are to be aware of the signs of the times (Matthew 16:2-3), but we cannot pinpoint the day or hour of the return of Jesus. It is known by the Father alone. He has not disclosed the timing to the angels or even His Son.
He is very patient, not wanting any to perish but more to come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9 & 15) Any delay is an expression of His love an grace. I read this as a promise of fruitfulness in sharing the gospel right up to the return of Jesus. Any question about the focus of the church in the end times should be resolved by these verses.
Because of what seems like an endless delay, many mockers will come in the end times. (See 2 Peter 3:3-4) They will point to naturalism as an excuse to explain away the existence of God. They will say; “all things have continued the same since the beginning of recorded history.” They will not include the existence of God or Divine Intervention in their world view.
What a description of modern times. The signs of the times will be obvious to those paying attention, but most will be blinded by pleasures, addictions and worldly pursuits. They will be so focused on here and now they will not notice the storm clouds gathering.
Jesus goes on in the next few verses and uses the days of Noah as an example of the carefree attitude of the majority in the end times. These verses speak for themselves:
“37) For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38) For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39) and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭37‬-‭39‬)
To be fair, some see Noah suddenly entering the ark as a picture of the rapture. 1 Peter 3:20 even talks about the patience of God waiting in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark. Noah obeyed God and built for years without knowing the day or hour. 2 Peter 2:5 goes so far as to say he was a preacher of righteousness. His warnings were falling on deaf ears.
Then the animals started arriving at the ark because God sent them. What an amazing sign of the times! Who could miss that spectacle? Of course, Noah probably utilized some of the beasts of burden in the building process. I’m fairly confident elephants, oxen, horses and mules were common on the construction sight. But who could explain the sudden arrival of deer, antelope, lions, giraffes and zebras? Wait, did I just see a few sloths and anteaters go by? Let’s be honest, at some point things started looking very out of the ordinary!
Then one day God said; “Enter the ark!” The Bible indicates that God Himself closed and sealed the door. The day and hour had arrived. However, the people didn’t stop their partying until the rains came down and the floods came up. They were oblivious to everything happening around them for many years during the construction of the ark. But Noah and his family were spared from the judgement that came upon the world because they were safely in the ark.
In Matthew 24:37, Jesus said the coming of the Son of man will be just like the days of Noah. There will be many signs to be observed prior to the return of Jesus. Don’t let a zebra pass you by without wondering what on earth is going on!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global