Summary: ADVENT 1(ILCW-B) - Watch for Jesus’ return -- the hour and time is unknown but we are to be prepared.


MARK 13:32-37 – November 28, 2004 – Advent 1

32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: `Watch!’ "

INTRO.: Prepare, prepare, prepare. Watchwords as prepared last week for guests, for Thanksgiving meals, for day after Thanksgiving. Today’s society sounds the alarm to always prepare. Bad weather is coming, get ready. The economy is not real promising so prepare enough savings. Accident, sickness be ready with enough insurance. At times, so many warnings, alarms sounded that may not always being paying close attention to them all. Advent sounds the watch alarm. Three more Sundays and then Christmas arrives. These are our weeks to watch for Jesus’ return – though the time and hour is unknown we are to be prepared. Today, we follow God’s work that we may learn more of the secret things of God.

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law" (DEUTERONOMY 29:29).


I. The hour is unknown

II. We are to be prepared


A. Jesus is addressing the disciples and crowds on Tuesday of Holy Week. (MARK 13:1ff)

1. The disciples had commented about the massiveness of the stones of the temple.

2. Jesus tells them the stones will be overturned and scattered with the rest of the city.

B. They are to be ready for that day (happens in 70AD). They are to be ready Jesus’ return.

1. Hear over and over Jesus will return at an unknown time. Verse 32 – only one knows.

2. Verse 33b – do not know when that time will come.

C. Example of a man leaving on a long journey. Reminds of Jesus’ ascension, returns to heaven.

1. Verse 34b – servants, each his task, are told to keep watch. Hour, time unknown.

2. Verse 35b lists the four watches of the night. Again, not know the time, day, year.

D. Unknown, which often describes the future, can be frightening. For some the fear of the future

strongly holds them in a vise-like grip that does do not let go. Today’s society plays on the uncertainty of the future to frighten people into action according to their fears. Looking into the future, the unknown the believers is to be watchful. "But 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"(LUKE 12:39).

E. What do we know about the unknown day, hour, and time of Jesus’ return? Jesus’ return will

be sudden and judgment will be quick. The Son of God will return on a throne of glory to judge the living and the dead, to separate the sheep from the goats. "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man"(MATTHEW 24:27).

F. For some the sudden return of the Christ will be a time of fear and trembling. Not so with

believers. We know that Jesus’ return means an end to weeping, mourning, sadness. Heaven is our home. Anxiously we watch and eagerly we expect Jesus’ return. "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming"(1 JOHN 2:28).

TRANS.: As believers we watch for Jesus’ return. True, the day, time, hour is unknown but we are to be prepared for Jesus’ glorious reappearing.


A. Jesus, first, trying to prepare disciples for his crucifixion, death, and resurrection.

1. This was difficult because it was hard for disciples to fully understand.

2. Jesus wanted the disciples to be prepared for this first departure and again at ascension.

B. Though leaving, the Lord Jesus would return. Once after 3 days and later in a longer time.

1. As heard already of that unknown time. Now prepare.

2. Verse 33 – Be on guard! Be alert! The disciples, believers were to keep watching.

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