The Last Days

Our Father’s Business

Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” John 8:28

Four days to live. What would you be doing if you knew your time on earth was that short? Luke tells us that Jesus spent at least two of the days prior to his crucifixion in the temple, teaching the people and preaching the gospel (Luke 19:47; 20:1).

On Monday, Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple because they had defiled God’s house by making it a “den of thieves” (Luke 19:46). The religious leaders demanded, “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things.” Jesus defended his authority and his deity by telling the parable of the king whose son was rejected (Luke 20:1–8, Matthew 21:23–46).

On Tuesday, Jesus created verbal portraits of what genuine faith looked like in the parables of the Ten Virgins and the Talents (Matthew 25:1–30). With graphic illustrations, he spoke about the disguises that falsehood and hypocrisy wore (Matthew 23:13–36; 25:31–46). He condemned the religious leaders’ pride but praised a widow’s humble generosity (Luke 20:45–21:4).

Jesus also challenged the crowd that gathered around him at the temple each day: Would they embrace him as the Son of David, their Divine Messiah, or would they reject him as a blaspheming imposter? (Luke 20:41–44).

Alone with the disciples on Tuesday night, Jesus spoke at length about the end times (Matthew 24:3–28; Luke 21:5–36). He advised them to be watchful—discerning, perceptive, and wary—of all teachings other than his own (Luke 21:8). He also said, “be careful”—exercise constant vigilance—for the “anxieties of life” might distract them from being ready when he returned (21:34).

I don’t know if I have four days or 4,000 days left on earth. But Jesus says to me and to you, “Be always on the watch, and pray” (Luke 21:36). He spent every day diligently doing his Father’s will. And so should we. In our words, deeds, and even in our thoughts we are to be “about [our] Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 NKJV).

Are we heeding? Are we watching? Are we busy with the Father’s business or our own?

Dig Deeper

Read Luke 2:41–49. Some versions of the Bible use “in my father’s house” instead of “about my father’s business” in verse 49. What was Jesus doing in his father’s house according to this passage? What was he still doing in Luke chapters 20–21? What business has your heavenly Father given you to do?

Contrast Jesus’s words in Luke 21:36 with the disciples’ actions in Luke 22:45–46. How often are you as “sleepy” as they were?

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1–8 and 1 Peter 4:7–9. Besides being watchful and alert, what other characteristics should Christians manifest in what could be the last days?

Denise K. Loock

This devotion is part of our Easter series, The Last Days.

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