Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Last Sunday
of the Church Year/
Sunday of the Fulfillment
Option #1: "What We
Know About The Unknown Day"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
I. The timing is a secret (vv32-33)cf. Lk 21:34-36; 1 Peter 4:7
II. We have work to do while we wait (vv34-35)Rom 12:4-21; 1 Cor 3:8-10, 12:4-31; Eph 4:29-5:2; the word apodeemos means to "be absent from ones people, to take a journey in a foreign country" (Strongs Concordance)
Who left his houseThe word "house" often means family. Our Savior here represents himself as going away, leaving his household, the church, assigning to the apostles and all his servants their duty, and leaving it uncertain when he would return. Since his return was a matter of vast consequence, and as the affairs of his kingdom were entrusted to them, just as the affairs of a house are to servants when the master is absent, so it was of vast importance that they should be faithful at their post, that they should defend the house from danger, and be ready for his return (Albert Barnes).
III. How to be ready for it (vv36-37)Lk 21:34-36; 1 Thess 5:6-11
Matthew Henry's Commentary on the New Testament: We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return, vv35-37. (1.) Our Lord will come, and will come as the Master of the house, to take account of his servants, of their work, and of the improvement they have made. (2.) We know not when he will come; and he has very wisely kept us at uncertainty, that we might all be always ready. We know not when he will come, just at what precise time; the Master of the house perhaps will come at even, at nine at night; or it may be at midnight, or at cock-crowing, at three in the morning, or perhaps not until six. This is applicable to his coming to us in particular, at our death, as well as to the general judgment. Our present life is a night, a dark night, compared with the other life; we know not in which watch of the night our Master will come, whether in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore, as soon as we are capable of expecting any thing, we must expect death. (3.) Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he does not find us sleeping, secure in ourselves, off our guard, indulging ourselves in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty, and thoughtless of our Lords coming; ready to say, He will not come, and unready to meet him. (4.) His coming will indeed be coming suddenly; it will be a great surprise and terror to those that are careless, and asleep, it will come upon them as a thief in the night. (5.) It is therefore the indispensable duty of all Christs disciples, to watch, to be awake, and keep awake; "What I say unto you four (v. 37), I say unto all the twelve, or rather to you twelve, I say unto all my disciples and followers; what I say to you of this generation, I say to all that shall believe in me, through your word, in every age, Watch, watch, expect my second coming, prepare for it, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless."
Mark 13:33: Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
Visual aid: poster of birthday party favors, hats, ribbons, etc.
These are the sort of things youd see at a surprise birthday party. Tell me: what is the difference between a regular birthday party and a surprise party? (Accept responses) Some people dont like surprises, but they probably would enjoy this one, especially if people were there that they hadnt seen in a long time.
Jesus is talking about another kind of surprise. He talks about the owner of a home going away on a long trip. He tells his servants to watch over the house until he gets back. He doesnt know when he will return, so they dont know either.
There have been movies about teens having parties when their parents were gone. They get drunk, destroy property, and get into all kinds of trouble. As the movie ends, the parents come home and someone has a lot to answer for.
Jesus says that the end of the world will be like that. You dont know when Jesus is coming backit could be in the evening or at midnight or when the rooster crows or at the crack of dawn. So always remember that it is His property that you are watching over. No matter what you have, it came from Him. Not only that, you dont even belong to yourself. Thats because Jesus paid for you with His very own blood that He shed on the cross for our sins.
Many people today get into trouble because they forget that their very lives belong to the Savior who loved them and gave Himself for them.
Jesus says that we must stay awake. You cant keep your body from needing sleep; what He means is that you have your spirit stay awake. You do that by remembering who you are, a servant of God; by remembering that you dont know when He is coming back; by remembering that we are to serve Him no matter how long it takes for him to return.
After all, you want to be happy at the surprise when He comes back, not the one whos in a lot of trouble. Right?
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:33 PM