Nobody likes waiting…
Nobody likes waiting in our culture – waiting for the family to finally be ready, waiting for people to get home when dinner’s ready, or queuing in a fast food restaurant.
This chapter of Luke is about stewardship – v. 1-12 our stewardship of the Gospel, v. 13-34 of possessions and in these verses, our stewardship of time as we wait for Jesus to return.
There are 3 elements of waiting given to us in v. 35-36:
i) Be prepared – “stay dressed ready for action”.
ii) “Keep your lamps burning”. Oil lamps needed attention to keep burning, the wicks trimmed and oil topped up. The Lord wants us to keep our lamps burning by trimming away sinful attitudes and habits and keeping filled with the Spirit and the Word of God.
iii) Be expectant – the Master is coming from a feast, so it will be a time of joy and celebration.
There is blessedness in the wait (verses 37-38) – to be blessed is to be truly happy. When He comes the master will serve the servants – us! The Lord’s first coming was to serve, not to be served, and His second will be like that too.
The next section brings a warning (v. 39-40). Jesus switches the imagery from servant/master to owner/thief. In this image Jesus comes as an unwanted thief who is not welcome and whose arrival brings disaster. So is Jesus’ second coming one as a welcome master coming to serve or as a dreaded thief bringing disaster (judgement)? That all comes down to relationship. Our attitude to the second coming is the result of our response to His first coming. If we have invited Jesus to forgive our sin and bring us into relationship with the Father as our Lord then we wait longingly for the Master to come back.
The last paragraphs expand on Jesus’ second coming. It will be peace for those who love Him but division and judgement for those who have rejected Him.