Summary: Jesus tells the parable of the servants watching for the masters return.
35"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGER SONG WRITERS IS CAROL KING. SHE WROTE A
SONG CALLED, "ANTICIPATION". YOU MIGHT NOT REMEMBER THE SONG, BUT YOU PROBABLY REMEMBER THE COMMERCIAL. IT WAS A BOTTLE OF KETCHUP, HELD OVER A HAMBURGER, SONG PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND AS THE ACTOR WAITS, AND WAITS, AND WAITS, AND WAITS SOME MORE FOR THE BOTTLE TO RELEASE THE RED STUFF, TO COMPLETE THE BURGER. ANTICIPATION.
AS WE OPEN THE SCRIPTURE TOGETHER, WE SEE THIS SAME THOUGHT. WE HAVE BEEN SPENDING SOME TIME LOOKING AT THE PARABLES OF JESUS. WE TALKED ABOUT THE RICH FOOL, AND LAST WEEK WE TALKED ABOUT OUR TREASURES. REMEMBER, JESUS SAID, STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES, TREASURES IN HEAVEN. NOW, JESUS TELLS US TO WATCH AND WAIT.
keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return I CAN CLEARLY RECALL THE FIRST TIME I EVER WAITED FOR SOMEONE TO RETURN. MY PARENTS MADE A TRIP TO CHICAGO TO PICK UP A FRIEND, AND I WAITED ALONE, I WAS PROBABLY 12 OR SO, THE HOURS DRAGGED. EVERY CAR THAT DROVE BY, I WENT TO THE WINDOW, I WATCHED TV, BUT MY MIND WAS ON THE DOOR. FINALLY, THEY RETURNED. THEN, AND ONLY THEN, COULD I GO TO BED, ASSURED THAT EVERYTHING WAS ALRIGHT.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU ONE OTHER TIME, I WAITED. IT WAS ON A FRIDAY NITE, IN A SMALL CHURCH IN FLORIDA. I STOOD AT THE FRONT OF THE CHURCH, MY BEST FRIEND DEVON, AT MY SIDE. THE PASTOR, STOOD WITH US. THE CHURCH WAS FULL, FAMILY AND FRIENDS FILLED THE PEWS. AS I STOOD WATCHING, AT THE BACK OF THE CHURCH, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, I HAVE EVER LAID EYES ON, STOOD, HOLDING HER FATHERS ARM, IN A MOMENT SHE WOULD MAKE THAT WALK DOWN THAT AISLE. ANTICIPATION.
JESUS SPEAKS TWO PARABLES TO HIS DISCIPLES, BOTH DEAL WITH THIS SUBJECT OF WATCHING AND WAITING. HE TELLS US, THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT ATTITUDES IN THIS WAITING. ONE IS THE EXAMPLE FOR US TO FOLLOW, THE OTHER IS NOT. ONE WILL BE REWARDED, THE OTHER WILL BE PUNISHED.
IN THE FIRST PARABLE OF JESUS, HE SAYS, BE DRESSED READY FOR SERVICE. KEEP YOUR LAMPS LIT. WATCH AS MEN WATCH FOR THEIR MASTER TO RETURN FROM THE WEDDING FEAST. WATCH WITH ANTICIPATION. READY TO IMMEDIATELY OPEN THE DOOR, EXPECTING HIS RETURN.
DRESS, READY TO SERVE. WHEN I STARTED WORKING FOR WAL-MART YEARS AGO, THEY HAD A DRESS CODE, THE GUYS HAD TO WEAR A NECK TIE, ALONG WITH THE VEST. WELL, THEY GOT RID OF THE TIE RULE, BUT WHEN YOU WALK IN YOU STILL IDENTIFY THE WORKERS BY THEIR BLUE VEST.
THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO. WE PUT ON A UNIFORM. THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE HERE, IS THAT YOU WOULD GIRD UP YOUR LOINS. WHAT THAT MEANT WAS, PULL YOUR SKIRT UP, TUCK IT IN THE BELT, SO THAT YOU COULD RUN.
JESUS, IS SAYING, THE SERVANTS WATCH, READY TO RESPOND TO THEIR MASTER, IMMEDIATELY. THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO MAKE LAST MINUTE PREPARATION.
HE SAYS, IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THEM TO BE FOUND WATCHING, WHEN THE MASTER RETURNS. THEY WILL BE BLESSED. AND THEN HE TELLS US WHAT THE BLESSING WILL BE.
PICTURE WITH ME. YOU ARE THE WAITER AT THE FINEST RESTAURANT IN TOWN. WE ARE NOT TALKING THE HEART LAND CAFÉ. YOUR JOB IS TO WAIT TABLES. THEN IMAGINE, THAT ONE DAY, THE PRESIDENT WALKS IN YOUR RESTAURANT. HE IS GOING TO BE SEATED AT YOUR TABLE. SOMETHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT. AND THEN, INSTEAD OF HIM SETTING DOWN, HE PUTS ON YOUR WAITERS CLOTHES, AND HE SEATS YOU. AND HE WAITS ON YOU. HE SERVES YOU. AND JESUS SAYS, WHEN HE RETURNS, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HE WILL DO FOR THOSE WHO WAIT FOR HIS RETURN.
THEN HE ADDS ANOTHER BLESSING. THIS TIME TO THOSE WHO KEEP ON WATCHING AND WAITING. EVEN IF HE COMES LATE IN THE NIGHT. WHEN I WAS 12 AND WAITED FOR MY PARENTS, NO MATTER HOW TIRED I WAS, I WOULD NOT GO TO BED.