The Son of Man is Coming!
“Whether He comes in the second watch… or even the third…”

By Jon W. Quinn

Am I focused on the kingdom of God? Do I have my orientation toward the return of Jesus? Do I believe He could come at any time? Do I believe I need to be sure that I am ready for His return? Am I clear in my own mind what a privilege it is in being His servant? If He were to come and evaluate my life right now, what would I be able to give Him?

In Luke 12 Jesus spoke of a man who was ready for about anything except leaving this world. It was during the night that the man who had everything lost it. God said that it had been a very foolish approach to life (Luke 12:16-21).

It does not say that the man was an atheist or a criminal or a blasphemer. But in all practicality he was. His life had been dedicated to the same things that the atheist would dedicate his life to, and he would find that his eternal destiny was the same as well. Note why this man was lost, in Jesus' words - He was “not rich toward God” (vs. 21)! He was lukewarm about it; not interested; too busy; thanks but no thanks.

We need to understand that life is more than just the physical; what we eat and wear and drive (Luke 12:23). Also, we should realize our value and responsibility unto God and to live accordingly (Luke 12:24).
Consider how we can avoid the mistakes of the rich fool and be rich toward God as we are ready and glad for the return of the Savior.

Do Not Be Afraid Little Flock

Jesus referred to His disciples as His “little flock” (Luke 12:32). This suggests a relationship compared to a shepherd and the sheep - God is our Shepherd. Add to this that the Father has “chosen gladly” to bless the disciples - God is our Father. He is also ruler over the kingdom with which He blesses the disciples - God is our King. So we have three relationships here: Jesus is the Shepherd who cares for the sheep; God is the Father who gladly blesses His children; and He rules as King in our hearts as we are given the kingdom. It is an inadequate view of our relationship that leaves out or diminishes one of these relationships.

Some do not allow the Lord to guide them and nourish them as their shepherd because they are too busy. They lack trust. Some have difficulty being thankful for the blessings of the Father. They take them for granted. And often, people refuse to submit to the Law of the kingdom which God has gladly given. They are disobedient.

Relating to the Kingdom in the World
We need to be “rich toward God.” We should seek the kingdom with intensity (Luke 12:31) as we look at material things differently than the world usually does. Instead, we place proper value on spiritual things (Luke 12:33). We seek to make our hearts right (Luke 12:34). We need to commit the concerns and worries of earthly living to Him and demonstrate by our actions our concern for the kingdom.

If the Lord were to come now, and evaluate our lives, what would He find? The rich man had a pile of money and possessions, but these things are absolutely without value at Jesus' return! What will you have to give Him? A fistful of money? Or something of value which shows you have been “rich toward God” !

There is a parable that describes the Lord's return (Luke 12:35-38). Several points:

a) The servants are faithfully watching - but they do not know when the Master will return. We don't know either!

b) When the Master arrives, his servants are ready for him. The Master understands that this means they have been faithfully anticipating his return! It mattered to them! They were dressed (adorned in good works; “put on Christ”; etc.); their lamps were brightly lit (“Let your light shine”).

c) And the Master is quite pleased. (In fact, Jesus' listeners may have chuckled at this part) The Master says, “I am so pleased I with you that I want you to just sit down and take the load off and I will serve you!”). This is how Jesus illustrates the reward of heaven.

d) Of course, the Master knew it was possible that the servants would not have been ready; they could have chosen, while the Master was away, to do other things. Their lamps may have gone out. They may have gone to sleep. They may have been busy with their own pursuits - but in this case they had made the good choices that delighted the Master. How about you? .

Be Ready!
Jesus is very concerned that we be ready when He comes again. He said it over and over in this context. “Don't be like the rich man. Be like the servants who were ready! Understand your relationship to the kingdom. Be rich toward God! Be ready!”

One more illustration (Luke 12:39): The only point: be prepared. The coming of Jesus will be like a thief breaking in only in the sense that there is no warning. So, always be ready. "You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12:40). It cannot be said any plainer, can it?. This is for all of us.

Those who are faithful and wise live in anticipation. The easiest thing in the world is to be lulled into a state of sleep, or stupor. It is as if I am driving on a long trip on a highway… my thoughts far away… oops! I missed my turn! Stay Awake!
Those questions we began this article with; here they are again:

1) Am I focused on the kingdom of God?
2) Do I have my orientation toward the return of Jesus?
3) Do I believe He could come at any time?
4) Do I believe I need to be sure that I am ready for His return?
5) Am I clear in my own mind what a privilege it is in being His servant?
6) If He were to come and evaluate my life right now, what would I be able to give Him?

I hope these help each of us evaluate our lives and priorities and to determine to make whatever corrections Jesus would have us make. He wants so much for us to be ready, and the Father is very glad to give the kingdom to those who are.

From The Bradley Banner 4/1/2007
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915


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