“Signs of the Times” in the Words of Jesus The Days of Noah (P1)
Review: God’s signs and wonders throughout the OT performed for His chosen people. At this time in history, the Israelites had been dispersed to other countries though some remained or returned to Jerusalem and what had been the land of Israel. In the time of Jesus, they were coming out of what is referred to in Biblical history as the “silent four hundred years” or Apocryphal period (from Malachi 4:6 to Matthew 1:1).
Now the first prophet in over four hundred years came on the scene in John the Baptist. He was the forerunner who announced the coming of the Messiah. John pointed everyone to Jesus. This fulfilled many OT prophecies, yet the religious leaders not only resisted Jesus as Messiah, but rejected Him, called Him an agent of satan, and later crucified Him as a criminal.
Jesus ministry consisted of living and moving among the Jews from Nazareth throughout Judea, Samaria, and on the other side of the Jordan (Perea). He was openly among all of them, performing all kinds of miraculous signs including raising the dead. Yet religious leaders, still asked for signs. Last week we examined Jesus’ words, the sign of Jonah as He prophesied about the signs He was about to show them thru His much prophesied crucifixion, resurrection from the dead, and appearance and ascension. Yet He continued to be asked for more specific “signs of the times”.
The Days of Noah and The Days of Lot
Background: Luke 17: 11-19
- Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem in the region of Perea
- The encounter with the Ten Lepers. Ten were healed. One came back—a Samaritan. Jesus told him he was saved (healed) by his faith (in Jesus)
- Then the Pharisees seeing and hearing this questioned Jesus.
The First Days of Noah reference:
“Now He was questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, and He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look there,’ or, ‘Look here!’ Do not leave, and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day (this is His second coming not the rapture). But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man: people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, and they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Commentary of this Section.
- It is uncertain but may be thought that the Pharisees question was in response to Jesus’ healing the lepers and His words to the Samaritan one who was saved by his faith.
- “When is the kingdom of God coming?” The OT has many references to the new kingdom or heaven. The Jews waited for this kingdom, hoping it would be more military in nature and restore them to power as one nation back under the favor and blessing of God. This was their thinking about Messiah as well. Since Jesus preached “peace” with repentance, they hated the Messenger and His message. They wanted to throw off Roman rule.
- (Jesus answer p1) For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst (among you). This difficult response still puzzles theologians and historians today. I studied this long and hard. It would take too much time today to give you the varying opinions. Here is what we know with certainty.
Jesus was now in their midst (among them). That was different.
- (Jesus answer p2) Now He apparently turned to His disciples for the rest of His message. He warned them there would be people thinking they saw signs and would chase after them but He told them not to do that because the Second Coming is a mystery. Then, for a moment, He reeled them back in to their current day by again foretelling His imminent rejection, suffering, and crucifixion.
- (Jesus answer p3) We finally get to the “Days of Noah” analogy and teaching. Notice Jesus did not preface or refer to the debased culture and their perverse living in the days. However it was known if not understood. These Jews in His audience (many, if not all) would have known the story of Noah and the flood having being taught it from the Torah all their lives.
- Background on the “days of Noah”. Genesis 6: 1-13
The bottom line is this: the people of the world had become so evil and perverse God was so distraught, He regretted creating mankind. Save Noah and his family. This is what Jesus’ audience knew so it needed no explanation.
- This preoccupation with evil and perverse living included the fact that they were always focused on themselves. They paid no attention to anything or anyone else.
- We also know that God gave them 120 years to repent (v3). Jesus did not say the following, nor do we find it in the Genesis account. BUT Peter gave us the context we need to understand what went on during this time of debauchery and perverse living while Noah built this ship in the desert. God attempted to save more. They rejected Him!
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, held for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly…then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise authority.” 2 Peter 2:4-5
We will stop here today. Let’s close with two questions:
- What did Jesus teach His disciples (that includes you and me)?
- Avoid false teachers and looking for signs of His second coming.
- As Christians, we have no business getting caught up in the sins of this world.
- Live in expectant hope of that event though we know the Rapture will occur first.
- Share the coming judgement of God on those who ignore or reject Christ.
The teachings of Jesus are clear; His signs obvious. You can follow those in the days of Noah to complete and utter destruction like those swept away by the flood. OR you can be like the Pharisees and insist Jesus is not the Messiah and follow them to the same end – Hell.
I plead you wake up and see the truth. Jesus is Who He said. No one else died so brutal a death to save you from your sins. Come to your senses as the Prodigal Son did. Confess your sins, repent, and come to your Father Who awaits with open arms to receive you.
For Christ’s sake and your own,