“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning.” Mark 13:35
Biologist have observed that, in general, the smaller the animals are the more alert they are to the presence of predators. They call the collection behaviors associated with always being on the look out for possible attack, vigilance. And it’s not just the small birds and mammals that are vigilant. If you’re not the top predator in you area it still pays to be on the look out because you never know when another animal might decide that you’re the next item on its menu.
Jesus, in our focus passage, is once again admonishing his disciples regarding their need for vigilance. Using the return of the master of the house as a metaphor for the second coming, Jesus warns them, “you do not know when the master of the house is coming.”
But wait a minute, Pastor Jon, I thought Jesus gave us some prophecies so that we might know that his coming is near. Why do we have to stay continually vigilant. We’ll just watch for the signs and get ready when we see them being fulfilled.
We friends, that might work, except for one thing. Usually, how we imagine the prophecies being fulfilled isn’t quite the same as how they end up being literally fulfilled. Prophetic scholars aren’t generally totally off the mark when it comes to interpretation, though there have been some really big mistakes over the centuries. But even with careful study and interpretation it’s still possible to miss the actual fulfillment until after it’s become part of the historical record. In fact, it’s most often in the historical records that we discover prophetic fulfillment and not in the dynamics of present world activities.
Because of this, the safest, the most logical course of action, for anyone who believes Christ’s promises of his eminent return, is to make it policy that everyday, no matter what else you may be doing, you’re also ready for Jesus to come.
Like the workers rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah. Tools in their hands so that the work could go forward but a sword at their side, and someone on the look out, so they could be ready to fight to defend their city. They were ready.
Jesus call to us is the same. Watch! Be ready!