But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matt. 24:36-44
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. 27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was in the days of Lot — they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all — 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:26-32
As were in the days of Noah is a sort of way of letting us know that everyday life would be normal in Jerusalem too, just as it was in the days of the impending disaster of ‘Noah’s’ flood. Messiah’s focus here is upon being ready in the midst of ordinary life, because believers will not know the exact day when the destruction of Jerusalem will happen.
There was no suddenness in the coming of the flood. It is probable that during the 100 years of construction, Noah, a preacher of righteousness, told his neighbors why [2 Pet 2:5] he was building such a large ship. Judgement would come upon the earth. However, no one really thought that such a thing could happen. They were conducting life as usual partying as they would for a marriage ceremony when the water took them by “surprise”.
This was true of the first century Jews, as well. The coming of the Son of Man would be sudden and unexpected to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In 68AD, the people were caught unaware. They could not conceive of an end to the Jewish polity. But end it did, judgment had arrived. Their rejection of Messiah gave way to the Lord’s Kingdom being given to another.
If they had believed the prophecy of Daniel [Dan 9:24-27], they knew the time was right for the coming of Messiah. If they had heeded the disciples of the Lord they would have known. But, they were taught and believed that God would never allow the temple to be destroyed again.
So, as the Roman army closed in around the city and the seditious made the blood run in the streets, the people waited for the God that had rejected them and their temple.
The believers in Messiah saw the signs of the impending destruction, first in Judea and then in Jerusalem. They had already left.
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