42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Jesus, speaking from the Mount of Olives, continued his sermon with a warning to watch for His coming (24:42-44). He gave an illustration of a thief coming unexpectedly.
Watch [be alert] therefore,
Jesus made a call for urgency to those at the end of the Great Tribulation. Believers at that time will need to keep awake like guards on duty. Torpor or spiritual drowsiness presents problems.
for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
People at the end of the Tribulation will not know the exact time of the Second Coming of Christ. They could watch for the signs Jesus presented earlier in the chapter, but those signs do not give an exact time of His coming.
But know this, that if [Greek = but he didn’t know) the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into [literally, dug through as through a clay house].
No thief announces his plan to rob a house. No head of the household would fail to make plans if he knew a robber was going to break into his house. A thief comes unexpectedly. The ignorance of the head of house regarding the time that the thief would come is no excuse. Ignorance is no excuse. Paul said, “You are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
Jesus will come unexpectedly. He is like a thief in that one respect. Most people in the Tribulation will not expect His coming even with the unimaginable disasters unfolding before them. Believers at that time should expect His coming because of the signs preceding His coming in the Tribulation.
Therefore you also be ready,
Readiness is the consequence of watchfulness. The word “be” is literally become. The idea is to become prepared; those who are not ready should become ready. Spiritual preparation does not come automatically.
for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Readiness allows believers to greet the Lord with joy.
Spiritual lethargy is deadly to a dynamic walk with the Lord.
The attitude of expectation of the Lord’s coming, whether at the Rapture or the Second Coming, is a vital perspective spiritually. Many people today are asleep spiritually because they are uncertain about the Lord’s coming. Some, but not many, are wide awake to spiritual realities.
Christ’s coming and the reality of the eternal state are so far off that we give little heed to its reality. Uncertainty can blind us to truth. Oh, that we might welcome the Lord’s coming. Vigilance toward the Lord’s coming is vital to spiritual health.
1 Th 5:3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.