History of Redemption: Blog Post 41
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household,( to give them their food at the proper time? ) Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - Matthew 24:43-51.
It may be hard for you to believe this, but writing this blog does not pay very well. In fact it pays nothing (at least nothing monetarily speaking). So I have been forced to find other employment in order to pay my bills and feed my family. I am an anesthesiologist. Towards the end of medical school I began interviewing for a residency position in anesthesiology. At one of my interviews I was asked what I believed to be the most important quality in an anesthesiologist. I answered “vigilance”.
It has often been said that being an anesthesiologist is not unlike being a pilot. It is 99% boredom and 1% terror. That 1% however is the reason it takes 12 years of higher education to become an anesthesiologist. That 1% is the reason I continue to have to study, and train. That 1% is the time when an anesthesiologist’s intervention is the difference between life and death.
In Matthew 24, we likewise are called to remain vigilant. This is to be part of our identity as a people waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. To not be vigilant is to be neglectful, or apathetic. And it is during times of apathy that sin creeps in like a thief, to rob us of our faith and of our hope. Satan loves an apathetic Christian.
I believe that if you asked most evangelical Christians today if they believed that the Lord would return before they die, although they may answer yes, they truly believe the answer is no. I confess that I too have often struggled to believe that Jesus is truly returning soon, as His word says He will. And yet here we have His word which tells us that He is coming soon, and that we are to remain vigilant for His coming “at an hour you do not expect”. So what are we to do? We are once again to humble ourselves beneath the Word of God, which we know to be true and faithful, and to obey what He has commanded us to do, to be a people waiting for His return, waiting vigilantly.
And we are not only to be vigilant in our waiting, we are to eagerly long for His return. We are called “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13). The more I grow in Christ, the less attached I am to this world, and the more I look forward to His return, as I await my blessed hope.
Let us, as a church, remember today that we are called to be a people waiting for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ, and that we are called to be vigilant in our waiting, knowing that His return will come at an hour we do not expect. And it will be glorious, and terrifying and so very wonderful for those who have believed in Him.
“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).