Gospel Reflection – “The Son of man will come with great power and glory”
The Lord is preparing us for his return
Jesus told his first disciples that it was for their benefit that he return to his Father in heaven in order for the Holy Spirit to come (John 16:7) and fill the earth with the fire of God’s love, truth, and glory. The Lord Jesus in every age fills his people with the power of the Holy Spirit so that each one of us can hear his voice, understand his truth, and sow the seeds of his word – the good news of the Gospel – wherever he sends us. The Lord Jesus is preparing his people for his return – for the day of “tribulation” and “shaking” when he will appear “coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:25-26).
What did Jesus mean when he spoke about a time of tribulation, shaking, and the “Son of man coming with great power and glory”? The title Jesus most frequently used to describe his mission was the “Son of Man” (Mark 13:26). This title is a direct reference to the prophetic vision in the Book of Daniel, chapter 7:
13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
The image of a “Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven” is taken from the vision of the prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:13-14). Daniel’s vision is a royal investiture of a human king before God’s throne. This king, whose authority comes from God, is given power to rule over “all peoples, nations, and languages” (Daniel 7:14). The kingdom which he comes to establish cannot be broken or destroyed because it is built on the foundation of God’s justice, truth, and holiness.
The day of the Lord’s return will be unlike any other moment in time, history, and destiny for the human race and our place in God’s creation. Then the “stars of heaven will fall and all will be shaken” before the presence of the Lord when he comes. Then the peoples of the earth and their rulers will know who is the true King and Ruler over all.
Jesus’ first coming was a rescue mission – to free the human race from slavery to sin and Satan – the father of lies. His second coming will be the final completion of his mission when he will “make all things new” – a new heavens and a new earth – after he has put down the last enemy which is death and restores our lowly bodies to immortality when death will be no more (Daniel 12:2-3).
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: My words shall not pass away, by Gregory the Great (540-604 AD)
“Nothing of this world is more durable than the heavens and the earth, and nothing in the order of nature passes away more quickly than speech. Words, as long as they are incomplete, are not yet words. Once completed they cease utterly to be. In fact they cannot be perfected except by their own passing away. Therefore he says: ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass.’ As if he were openly to say: all that seems to you enduring and unchangeable is not enduring and without change in eternity. And everything of mine that seems to pass away is enduring and without change. My speech, that seems to pass away, utters thoughts (sententiae manentes) which endure forever.” (excerpt from HOMILIES 1)
Text and reflections, courtesy and used with permission – dailyscripture.net