And he said to the disciples, The days will come, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man…
I. JESUS FORESHADOWS A CHANGE OF FEELING ON THE PART OF HIS DISCIPLES IN REFERENCE TO HIS APPEARING. They will desire to see one day a visible appearance of the Son of Man. If you have the spirit of Jesus, if He has come to you so that you know Him to be your Saviour and Friend, you cannot be free from such changes of feeling in reference to Him. No. There come to you times in which you think, "Surely my life in Christ is not pouring on me so clearly and warmly as it might do." You are inclined to murmur out such plaints as, "I cannot see His face, though I have eagerly looked for it; waiting to catch some beams of the wondrous glory resting on it, and be able to say, 'It is the Lord.' I want to feel His strong hand holding me up; but I do not grasp it, though I stretch out mine before, behind, on each side. My prayer this morning was that I might find to-day to be a day for a personal and new contact with Jesus." So there is a sense in which your feeling in reference to Him is somewhat changed. The day has come "when ye desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man."
II. JESUS FORESHADOWS HERE THE FAILURE OF SUCH DESIRES FOR HIS APPEARING. "Ye shall not see it." He does not want His people to indulge in vain dreamy longings. He does not want to frustrate hopes that at the bottom might express loyalty to Him, but are mistaken as to the way in which their purport is to be achieved. He could not grant that which would not be for the honour of God; that which would be to the hurt of those who desired only one day of the Son of Man.
III. JESUS FORESHADOWS HERE THAT THERE WILL BE FALSE ANNOUNCEMENTS MADE IN REFERENCE TO HIS APPEARING. "They shall say to you, 'See here! or see there!'" From history we find that there has hardly ever been a time of special trouble in the world, hardly ever a time of formality and deadness in the Church, but men have risen up to declare that the Son of Man was just coming, and that plans should be adopted to meet Him. But that is not the kind of expectation I want to warn you against; it is not the one that you are most in danger of succumbing to. But is there not a tendency to gather religious meetings under the idea that because you thus gather together Jesus will manifest Himself? Is there not a tendency to believe that, if you can get up a great organization to carry out a Christian purpose, obtain plenty of money, and seem to succeed outwardly, Jesus is there? Is that not saying, "See here, see there"? Against all that sort of thing His words ate meant to bear. You may gather meetings; you don't necessarily gather with Christ. You may get wealth to support your efforts; that is not a proof that Christ approves them. You may find numbers to sustain certain plans; that is no pledge, on the part of those numbers, that they are moving under the leading of Christ. You must learn that there is no power of life in those things by themselves. I do not despise meetings, wealth, or numbers. There is a certain value to be attached to them; but that value is just equivalent to any number of cyphers, good for something when you put one, two, or other numeral before them. So gather all kinds of people, money, and meetings; but until you put Christ into them they are of no real value. It is the power of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that is to be desired, not the power of external agencies. Pray that your heart may be brought more and more into sympathy with His, and that you may more and more clearly know that you are living on the Son of God by faith. Then you will not need anybody to point out the Son of Man to you when He comes. You do not need anybody to tell you that there is light in this place — you know it; and when Christ appears, His servants will know it without going by the reports of others, without following any one. We shall know it by the power He Himself will exert. Meantime we have to walk by faith, and not by sight.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.