“Need to know” is a military term meaning one is told “only the facts needed to know at the time you need to know and nothing more”. God operates on a “need to know” basis. Often my perspective of what I need to know does not match what He thinks I need to know. The disciples certainly lived on Jesus’s idea of “need to know”. It frustrated them too. In Acts 1:7, (CEV) Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know the time of those events that only the Father controls.” As I meditated on that, I decided that “those events” are everything in my life. He controls all the events. I can’t plan a one, especially not in these days.
The disciples had heard their entire lives about this coming Messiah. As males, they had been schooled in the Torah and knew all the prophecies about their Savior. (Catch The Chosen for a realistic look at this!) Now, here He was! They walked with Him witnessed his miracles, heard his teaching, saw him die and resurrected. They were sure, positive, confident, certain that the kingdom was at hand. They asked Jesus repeatedly when He would overthrow their oppression. Jesus’s response, You don’t need to know.
Seems like history is repeating itself. I’ve heard my entire life about the rapture, second coming, end of time as we know it. I’ve read all the books, seen all the films, studied the chart stretched from one end of the platform to another, heard all the sermons; facing today I ask, “is this the end?” Numerous preachers, speakers, authors, friends and family say a resounding yes. I look to the Word, pray and study and Jesus says, “you don’t need to know”.
In scripture the time of the end is always spoken of as “hidden”. Matthew Henry calls it “forbidden knowledge”. But, he continues, “He (Jesus) had given his disciples instructions for the discharge of their duty, both before his death and since his resurrection and this knowledge enough for a Christian,”. Matthew Poole says “Our Savior does not in his answer tell them what they desired to know; he tells them what is more expedient for them to know.”
Here’s what we need to know: whether Jesus returns today or not, He may call me or you to His side through an accident, cardiac arrest, Covid; there are a multitude of ways for a body to die. With that in mind, as long as I (and you) have breath; we walk in the way He sets before us. We do what He calls us to do on a daily basis. We share the good news of eternity with those who are worried and burdened about what they don’t know. We live on a need to know basis and today I know I am loved, redeemed, blessed and Heaven bound. MacLaren says “Why be anxious about what 365 days MAY bring, when we know what eternity will bring?”
Thinkin’ ‘bout that.