January 27, 2014
READ: Matthew 24:30-51
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected (v.44).
Recently a thief propped a metal ladder against the back of a restaurant early one morning. He scaled the ladder, reached the roof and entered the eatery hoping to plunder the place. He couldn’t have known, however, that the restaurant’s owner was waiting inside. The restaurant had been burgled three times in previous weeks and the owner refused to become a victim again.
Jesus told a similar story as He talked with His disciples. He said, “If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). He continued by saying, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (v.44).
Although no one except God knows the exact time when Jesus will come back from heaven (v.36), the Bible encourages us to live watchfully. It also gives us clues about what will happen before Jesus returns: wars, natural disasters and persecution will escalate and false religious leaders will infest the world (vv. 7-9, 23-24).
Despite these events, we don’t have to cower as we watch and wait (Romans 13:11-14). Rather, we can joyfully anticipate Jesus’ return and let it inspire holiness in our lives. Peter supplied us with a few pointers on how best to do this: pray faithfully, love deeply and share generously (1 Peter 4:7-9). This is how we glorify the One we’re waiting for.
Jesus will come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Ready or not, we’ll leave this earth to join Him on that day (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Fortunately, we can rely on God to “keep [us] strong to the end so that [we] will be free from all blame” when Jesus returns (1 Corinthians 1:7-8). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
› Genesis 43:1-34
Look up John 14:1-4 to see where Jesus will take us when He returns.
Are you looking forward to Jesus’ second coming? Why, or why not? How should you respond when you hear someone predicting the day of Jesus’ return?