Matthew 24:29-51

“Understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into” (Matt. 23:43)

Though I never really aspired to be a cop, I do hold them in high regard…and I do like their shows on TV. “Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?” And now there is PD LIVE. Turning criminology into cinematography.

In light of today’s text, I had a funny thought. What if thieves announced their arrival? What if they put on Facebook which streets they would be hitting and on what days? What if they pulled up to canvass a house wearing jail jumpsuits? I know, it sounds ridiculous! Yet is that not what the narrative is saying? If we knew when the thief was coming, we would be prepared.

So it is with the Second Coming of Christ. Just as a thief catches a household by surprise, Jesus will catch the unbelieving world by surprise when He comes to adjudicate the affairs of man. Of that time, none knows the day nor the hour. It will happen when it happens. We can’t anticipate it; we just need to be ready for it. And how so?

The scripture says, “Be watchful. Stay alert!” Does that mean we should keep our eye riveted on current events so as not to miss that day? No. I think rather the Greek word here (translated “watch”) is suggesting a more general disposition of diligence – one that regards our own spiritual well-being and state of affairs (This is more clearly spelled out in Luke 21:34-36, a parallel passage).

Otherwise, we might be lulled into a state of passivity and spiritual lethargy wherein the “cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” leave us unprepared for the end times.

Many scholars believe that Christ could come at any time. The days in which we are living certainly resemble the days of Noah is many respects. Knowing this, our job is to “watch and pray that (we) may be able to escape all that is about to happen…” (Luke 21:36)