We find in the text of Luke 12:29-40 that Jesus gives a contrast between two things: Endeavors that we should not seek for, and those that we should. The master teaches that the truly important objects in life are not the worries of what we shall eat, what we shall find to drink, or what we shall put on to wear for a covering. Rather, He says, the most pressing matters that we ought to seek after is simply “the Kingdom of God.” For if, says He, we seek after God’s Kingdom, then all the other needs of this shall be provided for us. Yes saints, the Lord knows everything that we have need of before we even ask for it and the scriptures declare that He will provide every need for us!
The Lord instructs us further to not have doubt of mind, and as our shepherd, He says to “fear not, little flock; for it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”
The Kingdom of God is an inheritance. It’s not something that we must work for. Instead, Jesus has purchased our entry into it, and it is given to us freely. Therefore, we understand that we have this inheritance and kingdom reserved in Heaven for us, and it becomes clear why we should be focused on that rather than those other things. Earthly things are temporary and waste away, but the inheritance that is set in heaven shall abide forever!
Jesus has instructed us this for good reason. Since we have treasure and our inheritance in Heaven, we ought to keep our hearts continually pointed there, because the Lord shall return at any time, and we must be ready to receive it! We must be ready to go! Lest we allow so great a salvation and inheritance to slip from us.
Jesus says in verse 35 to let our loins be girded. In ancient times, when everybody wore robes or tunics, they would often pull them up around their waist area and tie them, so they were enabled to run, do battle, work or whatever. This way, they could move around freely. For us today and in the context of the scriptures that we are dealing with, let us understand this as “be ready to go!”
He says also to have our lights, and them burning. If He comes in the night, have your light already burning and be ready to go out and meet Him! Saints, as Christians, we should be living with expectation and purpose. Expectation in that we know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ, our great God and savior, is returning someday soon; and purpose, in that our lives should not be arbitrary.
What we do, what we say, where we go, and what motivates us should be kingdom focused, for we shall receive a kingdom. Jesus wants us to carry His Gospel message to the whole world and fill this kingdom with all who will hear and heed the word of the Gospel!
The Lord drives home these points in verse 36.
He says: “Ye yourselves” be “like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”
I declare unto you saints, when Jesus comes, there won’t be any of this “hold on, Lord, I’m getting ready.”
There will be no “I’m coming, Lord, I’m getting up out of the bed and will be there in just a second.”
When Jesus comes, we must be ready beforehand because He will tarry no longer. He has already tarried some 2,000 years, waiting for men to make themselves ready. Saints, the time is far spent, and the midnight hour is at hand.
Do not begin to slip back and say to yourselves, “I’ll get in the bed for just a little while and slumber until He comes.”
We must work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work. The purposes of the Gospel should be paramount in our lives and we need to keep the faith as we patiently await our Lord’s return.
Jesus said, “blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He comes, shall find watching.”
No matter if it’s early, mid or late night, the servant that shall watch until He comes shall be blessed. The Lord said elsewhere in the scriptures that those who had their hearts on other things and refused to watch, that He would come upon them like “a thief in the night.” Unexpected. People generally aren’t up all night looking for and anticipating a thief to break into their home. So, if it happens, it’s completely unexpected. So, shall it be upon the man who is not expecting the Lord and is not ready!
Be not deceived beloved, the Lord can return at any moment. When He comes, shall He find faith upon the Earth? Will we be caught by surprise or will we be watching … waiting … ready?
The text that I’ve referenced in this writing is a parable that Jesus spoke. He took things that folks were familiar with to help people understand great, heavenly truths. The truth that I am trying to get you to understand today is in verse 40.
Jesus said, “ Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”
Put yourselves in remembrance, how that it was declared unto us by the eyewitnesses in these scriptures, that the Lord said He must go, but if He went then He would come again and receive us to Himself. Remember the two men in shining garments that stood by and proclaimed to the Apostles as Jesus was taken up from them and received by a cloud out of their sight that He would come back in like manner as He was taken up.
Even the Lord Himself, who said, “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me.” (Revelations 22:12).
I know sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged in this world.
We may often wonder, “Is He there? When is He coming? Is He ever coming?”
However, we must keep the faith and endure until the end. Faithful is He who has called us! If we think back on our lives, we can see that He has been faithful. He has only ever been good to us and He’s been there with us. He has led us, instructed us, fed us, and strengthened us because His promises are true. Someday soon, our Lord shall return, but will you be ready?
Saints, I beseech you by the mercies of God, keep yourselves from idols and every evil work that corrupts. Keep yourself from things that distract you from your purpose. One more time saints, we must live in expectation of His return and not grow slack in our trust of Him as He tarries. Since we therefore live in expectation, we know we have purpose in life to fill the Kingdom that we shall receive.
He that shall come, will come and, in due time, we shall reap a wonderful reward if we faint not.
Steven Croft is the senior pastor of Boyd Memorial First Church of God in Athens.