So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.Matthew 24:44 NIV
The 24th chapter of Matthew is a passage that is frequently used in discussions of the second coming of Christ. It contains a number of events and descriptions that we try to fit into our eschatological models. But it seems we often neglect the latter part of the chapter.
In verses 36-51 Jesus talks about the timing of his return. And he makes it clear that his return will be at an unexpected time. In spite of our best efforts to discern the times and forecast his return, we will always fail. Life on the earth will be continuing as it has for hundreds and thousands of years. The Holy Spirit will not whisper in our ears that he is coming tomorrow. So we should always be ready.
Always Be Ready
When my children were younger and living at home we would occasionally leave them at home while we went out for a few hours, or even days. And invariably they would want to know when we were returning. A certain amount of that was curiosity. But mixed in there was also the desire to know when they needed to get busy and accomplish any assigned tasks. They knew it would not bode well for then if we came back and they were playing games or watching TV with their work unaccomplished.
And that is what Jesus is telling us here. We don’t know when he is returning. But when he does it will be well for us if he finds us doing the work he has given us to do. And it will be painful for those who have failed to obey. So always be about the master’s business. So when he comes at an unexpected time he will reward you.