Matthew 24:18 (The Urgency of Fleeing: Remember Lot’s Wife)

Recall that Jesus has warned His disciples that when they see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place they must not delay but make their escape with all urgency lest they too be swept away in the coming judgment.  “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things that are in his house”, and “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak” (Mat 24:17-18).  For not only might one become distracted and delay too long to safely escape by seeking to save his things below, but such things will also weigh down and impede his escape; cf. 2Ki 7:15.  In what way is this also true in general of the gospel message of our salvation?  See Luk 8:14, 9:23-25,57-62, 14:26-33, 18:22-25, Heb 12:1[1].  Considering that one’s cloak is a basic necessity (see 2Ti 4:13), what do Jesus’ words indicate about how extremely urgent it is for His disciples to not delay but make haste to escape?  As opposed to the wrath of man that might perhaps be opposed and withstood as those who remained in Jerusalem vainly imagined, for what reason does Luke include that they must quickly flee?  See Luk 21:22; cf. Deut 32:35, Jer 51:6, and Luk 18:7-8 where the NAS justice is literally vengeance (cf. KJV).

What does a field often represent in Jesus’ teachings?  See Mat 13:24-27,38, 22:5, Luk 15:15,25.  What does one’s cloak or outer garment represent?  See Eph 4:22-24, Jam 5:1-2; cf. Mar 10:50, Rev 3:4-5, and consider that one’s cloak is that outer part of a person that others see that may or may not be a true indication of who one is on the inside, especially in regard to righteousness; cf. Mat 7:15.  In what way was the cloak with which Jesus was clothed very different from ours?  See Mar 5:27-30, 6:56.  In what way was His outer garment that veiled Who He really was the exact opposite of the outer garment worn by sinful men that veils who they really are?  Contrast Mat 17:2 with Luk 16:19.

Why would a blind beggar cast aside his cloak when coming to Jesus for healing, or Jesus say that we should not turn back from the field to get our cloak in that time when our eyes are opened to see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place?  See Isa 61:10, Gal 3:27, Phil 3:9, Rev 19:8; contrast Rev 17:1-4,16, 18:16.  In what way does this represent the difference between true and false religion since man first fell into sin?  See Gen 3:7,21.  So then, when one sees the approaching judgment, is the safe thing to do to turn back from our life in this world for our own outer garment to cover our nakedness, i.e., to establish our own righteousness to preserve us from that imminent destruction, supposing that we really aren’t that bad to be deserving of God’s righteous judgment, which has always been the hallmark of man’s religion?  Or is the safe thing to do to forsake our own righteousness and flee to the presence of the Lord, trusting that He alone is able to save us by clothing us in His righteousness?  Cf. Mat 22:11-13, Eph 2:8-9.

In what sense is descending to get the things out of one’s house and turning back to get one’s cloak “looking back” from the way of salvation and deliverance, as Lot’s wife did and perished (Gen 19:26)?  In what way did the Israelites whom the Lord delivered from their bondage in Egypt also look back and perish as a result?  See Exo 14:11-12, 16:3, Num 11:5-6, 14:1-4,22-23,29.  In what way did so many in the nation of Israel trust in their own righteousness and miss their opportunity for salvation?  See Luk 18:9-14, Rom 9:31-10:3.  Is it possible that Christians today could likewise miss their opportunity for salvation by “looking back” in the same way?  See Mat 24:17-18; cf. 1Co 10:11, Rev 3:17-18.  What do these things teach us about how important it is when the Lord is merciful to open our eyes to see approaching danger that we give heed and act immediately to preserve our souls without concern for leaving behind the things of this world or seeking to establish our own righteousness in order to save ourselves?  See Luk 17:31-33.

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy…

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready waits to save you,
Full of pity, love and pow’r:

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him:

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all:

1. The penniless traveler can lose nothing by robbers.  It was to his own disciples that Christ recommended this forgetfulness of their house and clothes, who had a habitation in heaven, treasure there, and durable clothing, which the enemy could not plunder them of.  I have all my property with me, said Bias the philosopher in his flight, empty-handed.  He that has grace in his heart carries his all along with him, when tripped of all.  Matthew Henry.

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