“See to it that you are not alarmed.” Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 24:6 right in the midst of telling his disciples of all the alarming, scary, unexpected things that would happen preceding His return.
He said all of these things will happen, ‘MUST happen’ – you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines, earthquakes; you will be handed over to be persecuted, hated, and put to death; there will be an increase in wickedness; the love of most will grow cold; many will turn away from the faith; the list goes on – and yet “See to it, that you are not alarmed.”
The word Jesus uses here for ‘alarmed’ is throeo – it means ‘troubled, frightened, to be troubled in one’s mind, to make a noisy outcry. I get alarmed over a simple election, how am I supposed to see to it that I am not alarmed in the face of all these other things.
We are to see to it – those three words pack a huge admonishment. Make no mistake this is a direct order. We see these same words given a dozen times in the old and new testament notably in Joshua when he says “Do what the LORD has commanded. See to it; you have my orders.” So Christ is not mincing words here with his “See to it!”
Added to this, we are told to be awake. Say what?!!! We are to see to it that we are not alarmed and we have to be awake seeing and knowing about all this alarming stuff. I think it would have been a bit more fair had Christ simply said, ”All this terrible, wicked stuff is going to happen and you are going to be scared out of your ever lovin’ mind – just take this holy spirit sleeping pill and I will wake you up when it is all over. There there.” That would have been far preferable.
But as followers of Christ we cannot turn off the alarm by taking a holy spirit sleeping pill, ignoring what is happening, pretending it is not important, or convincing ourselves that if we just stay out of it, it won’t affect us. Truth be spoken, alarming things are happening and have been happening the past 2000 years. What is happening is important and should not be ignored, and if we are to truly follow in Christ’s footsteps we have to be first responders, the go to people in the face of crisis, people of God who share the heart of God, speak the word of God and demonstrate the character of God to the onlookers surrounding us.