Read Mark 13:26-36

Accepting there are things we cannot know.

v 7.  He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.

We were thinking earlier in the year about the unity of the Godhead within the Trinity. But this reading in Mark’s gospel tells us there is not a total sharing of information. Does that come as a surprise to you? Here was something that Jesus, the man, did not know about the Father’s plans.

Strange to relate, trying to discover the date of Jesus’ return has been a huge pre-occupation for many Christians down the centuries. ‘If only we knew’ they say ‘we could be completely ready for him.’ There have even been occasions when whole groups of people have been so certain they had got the date right they got together and waited for the event on a mountain! We would all love to be able to solve the puzzle and discover when to get ready – rather like knowing when special guests are going to arrive at our home; then we could get the place tidy! I well remember saying to Jill about a neighbour once – ‘They’ve got the hoover going, they must be expecting visitors.’ And of course, if you knew Jesus was returning tomorrow that might prompt you to some special action today,

It is worth recalling what Peter wrote ‘The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along.’(2 Peter 3)

Not knowing a date or time is not a reason to ignore it, but rather an incentive to be ready for it anytime!