Are you ready at any time? Do you expect the unexpected? Some of my favorite scenes from the Pink Panther were Cato’s inconvenient attacks on Inspector Clouseau. They came to mind as I read Luke 12 where Jesus challenges our vigilance.
Here, Jesus is calling His audience to be ready like the servants waiting to welcome their master home from a wedding feast! It’s a joyful time! And yet also in the middle of the night. So…much…waiting…
Jesus says that if those servants are ready, the master will have them recline at the table and serve them. Yeah, right! I thought. But then John 13 came to mind where Jesus got a big towel and washed the muck of a dirt road off of His disciples’ feet. Oops! I need to be careful what I label as absurd…especially when Jesus talks about it.
Peter jumps in and asks if Jesus is only talking to the disciples, or to everyone. Jesus responds with a story about a manager, which sounds more like it would apply to a leader in the church. But He added this piece at the end:
“47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
The more you know, the more action will be required. That’s sobering stuff for a church kid! Especially when Jesus goes on to point out that He is bringing a fire to earth (Holy Spirit anyone?) and it will not bring peace, but division. It’s not a politically correct thing to say! If you act for Jesus, you are going to look out-of-place, and oppose the viewpoints of many around you. But at the same time, this is not an obscure teaching. Jesus is calling them to see things that have been laid out from God’s words in the Old Testament all the way forward.He said it was as easy to see as rain clouds hurrying in the sky. You just had to be on the lookout.
This begs the question, am I ready for Jesus to return? Am I vigilantly looking for Him or dozing off? I need to live like Cato is lurking in the house – not always fighting, but always aware of my mission.
God, thank You that Jesus is coming back! And it will be a time to celebrate – hopefully. There are some days where I am very glad to wake up and have a new chance. But one day I will be done. No more chances. No more days. Am I living each day to make it count? What if I could? What would that look like? God, please help me vigilantly pursue You, look for Your return, and how that changes my perspective when I wake up for the day. Amen.