Read This Week: Matthew 24
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. – Matthew 24:36 & 42-46 NIV
James Clear, the author of the best-selling book, Atomic Habits, said this about how important daily growth and consistency can be to a successful life. He wrote, “It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.” Clear’s assertion is that we are better served by daily faithfulness to doing things the right way versus looking for and trying to take advantage of one big moment. Christ was ahead of the curve on this idea in Matthew 24 by stressing a readiness for the big God moment by being vigilant, wise, and faithful every day.
Earlier in the passage, Jesus was speaking about the destruction of the temple and the signs of the end. His teaching builds a sense of understanding about the kingdom and the urgency and priority of the mission. The apocalyptic and revelatory language that Jesus uses in verses 1-32 serves to point his followers and listeners to increase their faith not only when things get big or challenging but at all times. He desires for Christians to use wisdom and be mindful of the will of God every day as they wait on the end of their life or the return of the Lord. He says in verse 35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Constant readiness and daily wisdom, faith, and preparation are at the crux of the message. Readiness is the operative word as the believer does not know when their time is up. So they should always be ready to serve God, steward their talents and gifts, love and care for others, and make a difference for the gospel in the world.
The word servant in verse 45 also means steward or one who properly takes care of or uses something that belongs to another. While we are here on earth serving Jesus and waiting for our appointed time, we are to be faithful and watchful stewards of what God has given us. Christians do not have to possess all the answers or know what will specifically happen at the end. But we must be ready each day to be faithful and wise as we grow in our devotion, build our character, communicate the gospel, and make an impact on a lost world.
The servants of God in this passage are watchful, prepared, and ready consistently to be found faithful in the work of the Lord. The same expectation is there for us today. Our concern should not be with the seemingly big moments, what will happen in them, or what we are doing in comparison to others. Instead, we must be wise to faithfully take care of our life and use it for the glory of Christ, to be ready to let our light shine in the Holy Spirit’s power in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces each day.
Jesus said it will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. When a new morning dawns for the follower of Christ, no matter what lies ahead, the message is to just be ready.