“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
This is Jesus saying this. He could see into men’s hearts. He could raise the dead. Is He casting doubt on the idea that at His return, there would ne none to receive Him? This is Jesus facing the rejection and humiliation of the cross, who still believed that His Father would raise Him. The church would be built upon this fact, this rock of the gospel message. But in this he did know the hearts of men.
Did he know that the purity and simplicity of the gospel would be made difficult and impossible to comprehend by the theologians and scholars of the early church? Did he know tests of fellowship, rituals and duties enjoined upon believers would turn people away? Did He know that for many, “faith” required “getting right with God” and “going to Church” because many Christians presented discipleship as showing up for a church service that wasn’t for imperfect people. Did He foresee that evangelism for many Christians was about inviting someone to a Church, and not to Jesus? Did He see many of his disciples pass on their god-given responsibilities to paid clergy? Did Jesus see the Church of today and weep for the souls of the lost?
I find this a very haunting question. Both in the sense that this is Jesus, questioning the very purpose of His crucifixion, and that despite all He will endure, He knows how the Church will prosper and wilt.
Despite this, the question is not hopeless. The question is motivational, because it dares us as even modern Christians to challenge ourselves to faithfulness. Yes we have been saved by grace, and yes we do not earn our salvation by works, but shouldn’t it motivate us to do good works because we are saved? Shouldn’t it motivate us to serve others because He served us? Should not the Lord Jesus find faith in His faithful? Shouldn’t He find it in our efforts to evangelize the lost, or seeking them out and inviting them to relationship with Jesus? Shouldn’t He find us about our Father’s business?
Let us surround the throne of grace with this resounding answer and say with humble confidence: “YES! Lord Jesus!”