But didn’t Jesus say he would BRB?

"BRB" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“BRB” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

There are clear indications in the bible that the earliest Christian communities struggled with the assertion that Jesus would return soon.

Thousands of years later many Christians still struggle with it.

When I was a teenager I was both terrified and excited that it would happen any day.

Now we’ve all become experts in saying things like, “Well, what the text really means is…”

Or neglect it altogether.

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19 Replies to “But didn’t Jesus say he would BRB?”

  1. Well, with Brexit and what may be the coming unraveling of the European Union, that kinda puts the kibosh on Jerry Jenkins’, Tim La Haye’s, and Hal Lindsey’s contention that a reunified Europe is going to try to take over the world.

  2. The crazy guy called Jesus said lots of dumb generic cult stuff:


    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26


    They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Luke 20:35

    MUTILATE YOURSELF so you don’t think sinful thoughts

    Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out … And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:28-30


    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

    and many more bizarre stuff. Theology is a joke.

  3. I wanna know why individual Christians think Jesus would come back in their lifetimes? And why do people continue to believe it even when it did happen for the previous group?

  4. @ Kris799:
    It is called, faith and hope.
    Why do Christians expect miracle healing when the don’t see it happening all the time?
    It is like the lottery ticket mentality. Humans are just plain silly, I am afraid.
    But maybe your question was rhetorical and that is exactly what you are saying.

  5. You know, that is the remarkable thing to me. Liberal Christians supposedly know all this stuff they ignore, but they tend to have their little cute image of Jesus as a lamb hugging, all forgiving incarnated god or a rebellious, lover of the poor, challenger of the system. They dismiss all the whacko stuff and red-Bible themselves a Jesus of their dreams.

  6. No seriously. In fact, before reading your “of course you don’t” comment, I ask my lady: What do you think this means, and she said,” I have no clue.” And she is , like me, even more baffled now. Maybe it is Canadian English or hip stuff you learned from your kids.

    What am I bitter about? What are you bitter about?

  7. Ya maybe it’s just me after a glass or two of wine. Or I’m talking with a woman who’s daughter was just found raped. Or lots of things. But I notice how your obvious disdain for conservatives is nothing compared to your disdain for liberals or moderates. Anyway… just a thing. No biggie.

  8. Ahhhh, my “distain”. I get it. Yep, “no biggie”. [btw, my gal doesn’t think you get me at all — and I can’t blame any wine on the issue.]

  9. David, it is not people that I disDain, it is the bad ideas they hold (while others may be wonderful) — especially the dangerous ones. It is important for you to separate the ideas from the person, David. Jesus didn’t, of course — he said someone should burn in hell for simply having a bad idea. So you see, you’ve got to be careful about who you idolize. 😉 I simply try to argue against bad ideas, Jesus damns for them. Significant difference, no?

  10. I think the “whacko stuff” is all part of the package. Jesus always has, and always will, defy any categories in which we want to place him. The most telling passage about Jesus in the Gospels is the one where he preaches in his home town of Nazareth and the people there get so pissed off that they proceed to try to throw him off a cliff. In response, he just struts off through the crowd and heads elsewhere. It’s like, “This is who I am and what I’m about, folks. Live with it.”

  11. Sabio: the hyperbole of Jesus is well known.

    I became a believer, my family was not. I understand that particular hyperbole quite well. As a teen, I had to ‘hate’ my family’s military value system that was godless, and choose to continue in my fledgling belief.

    Contextual analysis demonstrates that Luke 20:35 is referring to those that are in heaven, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.

    None of Jesus’ disciples were missing hands, limbs, or feet… nor was Jesus. It is hyperbole.

    The words attributed to Jesus clearly teach the existence (now and in the future) of some sort of hell. This is true.

    I understand arguing against bad ideas. However, I lean towards handling Jesus’ words in context, and with the understanding of hyperbole.

    Of the four points you made, only one is accurate.

  12. Hi Sabio: Yes. By all means, Jesus was strong on giving away money to the poor. I recall that the disciples thought Jesus had given Judas instructions – “That you do, do quickly” – and that those instructions really meant to give money to the poor.

    “Where your treasure is, there is your heart also” is one of my guiding principles. So, I have trifocals over my eyes, so to speak – one for my family, one for the workers of the church, and one for the poor. I make investments in all three.

    Jesus did indeed teach about giving to the ‘least of these, my brothers’ – and I love that he expanded giving to include water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, clothing to the ‘naked’, shelter to the homeless, and visitation to those sick and in prison. These strike me as gifts of commodities, shelter, and time. And, the giving is with my own hands, my own house (or I buy the tent), and I expend the time with those needing encouragement.

    I do support (with money) two workers within the counter-culture ministries. But they alone are teaching spiritual independence. And we also give to workers among the impoverished children in another country – I believe most of it goes to their schooling.

    But give it all away? No, just enough to ensure my heart is not totally ‘treasured’ on this earth.

    And get ready for the end times? Oh yes. In fact, I already quoted the criteria of the end times from Matthew 25 – my personal investment of commodities, shelter, and time. I know no better way to be ready for those end times, and the judgment that follows.

    So, no hyperbole there at all. Just a good balance that is best for my heart.

  13. Caryn did a good and careful job explaining here. Thank you. If I may step into the role of shit-disturber for a moment, though, again, I wonder, Sabio, since you went to Wheaton, not that I know much about it, that you come along with such stuff misinterpreting Jesus the way you just did? Did you take any New Testament courses there? Have you read the Gospels lately? Or does it come right out of an Atheist Reader “List of the ten stupidest things Jesus said?”

    Jesus was conservative and radical at the same time. Never was he into putting more burdens on the average or poor people or women. The rich were the ones putting on burdens on these other groups demanding a legalistic interpretation of the law, that they could fulfill but not others. To those to whom much has been given, much is demanded. Everyone seek to leaverage their gifts in the best way to serve others.

    You also can’t put yours hands to the plow and look backwards, (were the readings today). A kind of radical determination is needed to move forward. Your family, your wealth and desires can hold you back. Check it carefully and stay the course…

    Donal Trump has been such a disconcerting figure. If he has made some commitment to Jesus Christ, we could be happy for him and hope for his growth in such matters related to faith.

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