Remaining Watchful!

“Me Lord” I shared with you a time not too long ago when my daughter, grand-daughter, and I traveled to Wilmington, Delaware to a medical appointment in order to obtain a medical device designed to enhance my grand-daughter’s ability to move her arms in a forward direction. Anyhow, I want you to know that this journey has left us with so many precious memories that I know without a doubt that I will be talking about it for years to come!

For instance, while boarding the plane for our return flight home, I will never forget how my granddaughter, Lil Ms. Bumblebee, decided that it was her turn to sit by the window, so out of the blue she staked her claim by shouting out loud, “Shot-gun!” As both my daughter and I and all of the other boarding patrons laughed; I took the time to explain to her how calling shotgun wasn’t relevant to a plane ride but that it could only be called when she is about to ride in a car, since it signified that she was claiming the right to ride in the front passenger seat of a car. Well, returning a response with laughter she simply said “okay, still I would like the window seat, please.”

Needless to say we gladly granted her request, since we were excited that she had built up the courage to do so since initially on our trip to Delaware, she just wasn’t willing to sit next to the window and to look out.

There she sat like a big girl, peering out of that small window all bright eyed and excited as the plane took off. Later I noticed how she appeared not to be amazed, as she did the three times before, at hearing the captain’s voice over the intercom when he announced that we had reached our final cruising altitude; so I decided to ask her, “What do you see that has you so focused?”  And she simply answered, “It’s just so beautiful!”

Well about twenty-five minutes later I still noticed that she appeared to be in the same erect position and still mesmerized, therefore I then said to her, “Honey, why don’t you just sit back and relax a little while, since we have a long flight and those clouds will go on for miles.” Well to my surprise I received that confident and honest response in only a way that a child can answer as she simply said, “Nanna I can’t! I am waiting to see God!”

Well it is with that deliberately living life experience that I made notes to write today’s lesson!

Observation:

Mark 13:33-37 – 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 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— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Background:

Here we find our Lord Jesus Christ speaking directly to four of His disciples, privately, about future events: the persecution of Christians, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the world and learning to look forward in a right manner, which is our Christian duty.

Interpretation:

 33 Take heed, watch and pray

Above anticipating a new job, a monetary increase, a new car, your first home, or a new home, the arrival of a new baby, a wedding ceremony, and all of the other exciting events that can cause us great expectancy and great joy, we who are believers in Christ Jesus should anticipate His return more than everything else in this life. As a matter of fact we must make a conscious decision daily to never lend our attention to the cares of this world, so much that we lose the expectation of Christ’s return.

In verse 33 we are provided with a few very powerful action words, which we must take time to unwrap for application purpose, so let’s dig a little deeper into them right now:

Heed – Lexicon:: Strong’s G911 rendered: as Blepo, the pronunciation is (blep’-o) – which means (1)  to see, discern, of the bodily eye, (A) with the bodily eye: to be possessed of sight, have the power of seeing (B) perceive by the use of the eyes: to see, look descry (C) to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at (D) to perceive by the senses, to feel (E) to discover by use, to know by experience (2) metaph. to see with the mind’s eye, (A) to have (the power of) understanding (B) to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand (C) to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine.

Watch – Lexicon:: Strong’s G69 rendered: as agrypneō, the pronunciation is (ä-grüp-ne’-ō) – which means: to be sleepless, keep awake, watch, to be circumspect, attentive, ready.

Pray – Lexicon:: Strong’s G4336 rendered: as proseuchomai, the pronunciation is (pros-yü’-kho-mī) – which means: to offer prayers, to pray.

Our Saviour told four of His disciples, and all future disciples, the timeless truth of His promise to one day return. As a matter of fact, later in the Gospel according to St. John we can find Jesus, prior to His ascension on high, divulging specific details such as where He was about to go, what He would be doing while gone, and why He was about to go, with the promise to one day return for us.

Please read the Scripture reference below:

John 14:1-4, 28 –   “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Treasure Point: Therefore we must be on the lookout! Simply put: “On Guard, Watching!”

For you do not know when the time is

In the concluding portion of verse 33, please notice with me how we are not told when Christ will return; as a matter of fact instead we are told that that piece of information is absent. Therefore we are instructed to remain in a continuous state of expectation absolutely every day, every hour, every moment until He returns; for it may occur any day; in the days of our youth, or during our middle age, or even our old age.

Treasure Point: Our care should be less focused on trying to figure out the “exact time” and more on the “absolute” that our Saviour will return and we should be found with our hands engulfed in the specific duties assigned to each of us individually and ready to receive Him!

Now to make certain that we who are believers understood fully, Jesus then spoke in a parable, hear what He said:

34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 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— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning; it is an analogy using common everyday things to illustrate profound, divine truths in a manner, which sparks a familiarity. You will note that often during Jesus’ earthly ministry He shared in parables. As a matter of fact the twelve disciples once asked Him why He spoke in parables, Matthew 13:10-17,  and basically He responded by saying it drew a line of distinction between those who had been given “ears to hear” and those who persisted in unbelief—(http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-parables.html)

In the parable given in this case Jesus compared His soon ascension, (soon in the sense that it was futuristic when He spoke the parable, to those four disciples) the delegation of responsibilities, and His certain return, to that of a man who took a trip, one who also gave his servants authority to care for his house, while giving them their assigned tasks, with a command to watch for they would not know when the master would return.

This analogy demonstrates how we are to be like those servants who are cautioned to not be found sleeping on the job, but instead to be found diligent, disciplined, and prepared for the Master’s return.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 – 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Romans 13:11 – And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

 Revelation 22:12 – “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Application:

(1) As believers in Christ Jesus based on scripture our Saviour’s return should not catch us by surprise for we have been instructed to watch in all readiness!

(2) This readiness implies that He should not find us being slothful, focused only on ourselves, or behaving neglectful to the specific service and calling that each of us has been assigned too; but instead attentively working in the mission field of life, to share His love for all of mankind!

(3) After all we must remember that one day we will stand before “The Great White Throne” and give an account of absolutely everything we have done. (Revelation 20:11-15)

Additional Scriptures:

Acts 1:10-12 – 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 17 – 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

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