26 August 2010

Matthew 24:42-51

"Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." (v.44)


Set in the midst of a series of scenarios around watching and waiting, and being prepared for Christ's coming, Jesus sets this parable (a story with a meaning) in the home. This enables the listeners to feel more comfortable with the warnings and difficult theme Jesus wished to convey.

The passage begins with being watchful against the possible arrival of a thief, for if the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he would not have let his house be broken into. Jesus then tells another parable which reveals that a good servant will do all his tasks as if the master is about to return, and will be rewarded for being responsible, but if another servant takes advantage of the master's absence, abusing his fellow servants and ignoring his responsibilities, he will be cruelly killed.

So the challenge is always to be ready, to do good always, to be at peace with oneself so that we are prepared. Changing what we have done at the last minute to make things right with our maker (when actually it is too late) is of no use to us.

To Ponder

It is all too easy to slip into a more comfortable, less pressured way of living, hoping there will be time to adjust things later. Can you recall a time when you were not prepared? How costly was it? What did you need to do to make things better?

How do you remind yourself now that it is better to do all you can, when you can, however you can, than leave things until later?

Bible notes author

Margaret Sawyer

Margaret Sawyer has worked for the Methodist Connexional Team for ten years, first as connexional secretary for Women's Network and then as the Church's equality and diversity officer. She now works to support preaching and worship in her local circuit and district.