“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 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, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” – Matthew 24:37-39
I was reading this passage this morning and wondering, “What on earth does it mean that Jesus’ return will be like in the time of Noah?” In Noah’s time, like today, there were believers and unbelievers. Noah’s family represents the believers, they’re doing what the Lord told them to do, they’re getting ready. The rest of the world are the unbelievers, heckling Noah for building a boat on land. Wondering if he’d lost his marbles.
Today, as believers we are still called to be ready for the return of Christ. It’s hard though because it’s been so long, is it ever really coming? Many have started to think we must have misunderstood. How many times do you think Noah stopped mid-way in building the ark and thought, “What utter foolishness is this? Am I absolutely sure I heard from God about this? He’s going to put two of every animal on this thing and we’re just going to float away? This is nuts.” But he kept on building.
Similarly, how often do we think, “What utter foolishness is this? Are we absolutely sure we understand from God about this? He’s going to just come one day and everything is going to change?” Do we keep on expectantly waiting?
If there is no all-powerful God. If the world has no creator and is indeed an accident then the story of Noah is definitely foolishness and the return of a savior—equally so. However, if you buy the premise that there is a creator God who created people in his likeness and cares about them profoundly—well then, the leap to Noah isn’t that hard. And likewise, believing there is a savior who died and rose again, and will come back is also not much of a leap.
I write this to say, I think it’s completely appropriate for us to stop and wonder if we truly believe this. What we’re being asked to do (wait expectantly after thousands of years—something that feels impossible) is utter foolishness unless it’s all true. Then it just isn’t that much of a leap. It’s okay if we catch ourselves wondering if Jesus was serious about coming back. I’m sure Noah wondered if God was serious about a flood, and putting so many animals on such a small boat.
But we worship and trust an all-powerful God who has done things that many of us have seen in our own lives and don’t believe. We saw things we know to be the works of the Lord, and we still struggle to believe.