Summary: In Luke’s gospel (12:35) we find the first extended teaching on the Second Coming of Jesus and here he warns his followers to be ready. In these verses we are given three distinct characteristics of a “good waiter.”
A Study of the Book of Luke
Sermon # 34
Are You Ready?
We have all seen and laughed at the Ameritrades commercial that shows the lazy husband reclining on the coach as his wife tells him to do one thing that day – establish an online investment account. He says, “Sure.” Then he turns his attention again to the television. We see him as he watches television all day until finally he falls asleep. He awakens with alarm when he hears his wife’s car pull into the driveway, he then jumps to his feet and rushes to the computer. Fortunately for him is just a matter of a few clicks and he is all signed up. He rushes back to the couch just as she enters the room. Her first question is, ‘Did you set up the account?’ His indignant reply is, ‘Of Course.’
It may be possible to wait till the last possible moment to establish an Ameritrades account, but there are some things that are far to important to take a chance on. One of these is our relationship to God.
You some times hear someone make a casual remark such as, “I hope I don’t die suddenly. I want to have time to straighten out some things in my life.” The questions begs to be asked, “If there are things that need to be done, why don’t you do them now. “ We shouldn’t wait until the doctor tells us that we have three weeks to live to straighten out our lives. The truth is that none of us knows we have another three weeks to live.
You must be ready to move when Christ returns. Do not think that you can make preparations for his coming then.
Jesus spoke often of his return. He told his disciples in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” “There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, and Christ return is mentioned in no less than 318 times in those chapters. Statistically, one verse in twenty-five mentions the Lord’s return.” [R. Kent Hughes. Preaching the Word Luke: That You May Know the Truth. Vol 2. (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998). p. 59]
In Luke’s gospel (12:35) we find the first extended teaching on the Second Coming of Jesus and here he warns his followers to be ready. The relationship between Jesus’ prior words about treasure in heaven and watchfulness is obvious. The one who has his treasure in heaven will be ready and watching for the Lord’s return; the one who has his heart set on the treasures of this world will be caught completely unaware at His coming. In the verses of today’s text we are given three distinct characteristics of a “good waiter.” Waiting is not the absence of doing anything constructive. Waiting is not a static state, it is a time when God is working behind the scenes and his primary focus is on us. The modern translation “The Message” paraphrases Romans 8:24 as, “Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting.” We try to wait patiently. The hardest part of waiting is just that waiting. Waiting involves time and we don’t know when our waiting will be over.
The First Characteristic of a “Good Waiter” is Preparation. (vv. 35-36)
What do we say to someone today that we want to be prepared to join us on some outing – We say “be dressed and ready”
Jesus said in verse thirty-five, “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; (36) and you yourselves be like men who wait on their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.”
Such a banquet was of indeterminate length. A wedding banquet might consist of only a single meal and require only a few hours; but if the host were a person of wealth, the feasting could go on for days. It was impossible then to know exactly when the master of the house would return, so when the master would return was anyone’s guess. But the uncertainty did make these servant’s less vigilant.
These servants were truly remarkable. They did not give in to fatigue, they displayed no irritation, they did not sport an “attitude.” Rather they kept the light burning and them-selves in a constant state of readiness to spring up at a moments notice to joyous welcome their master home. In 2 Thess. 3:13, Paul urges Christians “…. Do not grow weary in well doing.” We can not give up and stop, or even tire and slow down, there is too much at stake.