Tribulations have the potential to make us fear that Jesus is aloof and not in control, but Jesus tells us to interpret them differently: as signals that He’s near, ready to break in and save. Discuss how you’ve interpreted tribulations in the past and how Jesus’ instruction brings you hope and confidence.
Jesus doesn’t want us to be asleep when he comes so he encourages us to “stay awake” and be alert (24:36-44). What is it about life that can lull us to sleep? How can we stay wakeful and alert in the midst of the normalcy and ordinariness of day-to-day life?
Jesus encourages us to wait faithfully for his return like the servant who’s faithful to his Master while he’s away. Since we’re usually not the best judges of our faithfulness to Jesus and quick to assume we’re the evil servant, ask someone who knows you well to share how he/she sees you being faithful to the Master.
Matthew 24 can easily be turned into a place for people to spar over the “what, when, and how” of Jesus’ return, which drains all of the encouragement it has for disciples of Jesus! Reflect on one new thing that Jesus taught you and what impact you think it might have on your faith.