33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 “Therefore, be on the alert — for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning — 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 “What I say to you I say to all, ‘ Be on the alert!'”
- What title do you give to this parable?
Away on a Journey
About the Master’s Work
Exhortation to Diligence
Message to All
- What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?
The wicked vinedressers
The wedding feast
The wise and foolish virgins
The rich fool
The watchful servants
- Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?
He was speaking to His disciples.
- What was the context for this parable?
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”
He was answering their questions about the signs and timing of the events accompanying His retrurn.
- What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
- Man – Jesus
- Journey – Went to heaven
- Leaving his house – Left the church
- Putting his slaves in charge – The Great Commission
- Assigning to each one his task – Personal responsibility, our stewardship for Him
- Commanded – Admonition to be prepared
- Doorkeeper – Church leaders???
- Stay on the alert – Warning to be ready
- You do not know – The timing of His return is kept a secret
- When the master of the house is coming – His return
- Evening – Stages of life or simply examples demonstrating that the time is uncertain
- Midnight – Stages of life or simply examples demonstrating that the time is uncertain
- When the rooster crows – Stages of life or simply examples demonstrating that the time is uncertain
- Morning – Stages of life or simply examples demonstrating that the time is uncertain
- In case he should come suddenly – His return will be sudden and at an unexpected time
- Find you asleep – Being lazy and unfaithful
- What I say to you – His admonition and warning
- I say to all – It is for all believers and really for unbelievers too
- Be on the alert – He repeats the warning demonstrating the very high importance of being faithful so that we will be ready.
- What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
- The time of Jesus’ return is unknown
- Jesus’ return is imminent
- He will come at an unexpected time
- He warns us to always be ready
- He entrusts much to us
- The longer He waits, the more it seems like He isn’t coming
- The longer He has waited, the less time there remains to wait
- Faithfulness is my primary responsibility
- Don’t sleep on the job and you won’t be caught sleeping
- Cross references to this parable?
28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
1 Thess 3:13
13 so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
44 “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)
7 BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
1 Peter 4:7
7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 ” Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
2 Tim 4:8
8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
2 Peter 3:12
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
2 Tim 1:10
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
2 Peter 3:14
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.
6 Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 ” A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest” —
11 Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.
2 Chron 31:21
21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.
1 Thess 2:9
9 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
- Discussion Questions
- Why doesn’t God want us to know when Jesus will return?
- What is a situation in a secular job that is similar to Jesus being away?
- List some reasons why some people will be found sleeping when He returns?
- How would you live your life differently if you knew Jesus was coming back on April 10, 2008?
- How would you live your life differently if you knew Jesus was coming back at the end of this month?
- How would you live your life differently if you knew Jesus was coming back on September 3, 2023?
- What are the most important tasks He has assigned us to do in His absence?
- What is the most important thing you could do to be better prepared for His coming?
- Concerning the things that you currently spend your time doing, which activity is the least productive and should be cut out of (or cut back from) your schedule?
- Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?