Matthew 24:1-51 (Part 7) – The Parents Are On Their Way Home! Let’s Clean Up!!!

Posted: March 22, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 24:1-51 (Part 7)

Jesus Teaches About Being Watchful for His Return

 

As we complete our review of Matthew 24 today, I am reminded of the days when I was a teenager and my parents would go away for a weekend getaway and leave me and my brother at the house to take care of ourselves. My brother and I had jobs that would require us to work on weekends so it was hard for us to be able to go with our parents when they would go away for the weekend and, of course, being teenagers, we didn’t want to be seen with them anyway. My brother was more of conformist in those days and I was more the rebel. Sure, mom and dad would leave chores for us to do. Sure, there were expectations of cleanliness that they had left us with. Sure there were rules about having no parties at the church parsonage. But of course, at least on my part, those rules were not always observed. Well, at least, I was not a complete idiot and had parties at the parsonage. But the chores, oh they would wait til mom and dad were coming home. Keeping my room clean, yeah right! When my parents went away for the weekend it was relaxation time. It was time to do what I wanted to do. That fancy cabinet style stereo system that my dad would never let me play my records on and would never let me listen to my favorite radio stations, oh yeah, it got cranked up. Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” would be blasting from that stereo as soon as they were out of eyesight in their car. Oh it was freedom! Rules were set aside while they were away. I know you know what I am talking about if you are reading this. The parents being away was time to set the rules aside and do what we wanted to do. Most times, my parents would call us to let us know that they were headed home and would give us what time they expected to be back home. That was always the cue to me to started cleaning up the messes that I had made, to do the chores that were left undone, and go over to the stereo and examine it closely to make sure that my dad’s prize stereo system was in the exact same state that it was when he left. He would notice even the slightest thing about that stereo. I would have to remember the radio station it was on and the exact volume level. Quick versions of chores were done to give the appearance that they were meticulously done. My room, always a sloppy hot mess, was quickly cleaned and things stuffed in the closet and so on. Always it was done to give the appearance of compliance while they were gone.

 

That was the game played with our parents. I think they knew that we would not obey their commands until we had to so that was why they would call to let us know when they would be home. If they really had wanted to bust us they could have. They could have not called and just appeared at the house unannounced. They would have had us dead to rights. Busted. It would not have been pretty if dad had walked in the door and heard Kiss’ “Shout It Out Loud” blasting from his precious stereo. It would not have been pretty if my dad had seen the messes that were made in his absences. Towels on the floor. Dirty dishes in the sink. Clothes strewn across my bedroom. We and mainly me would have been caught in the act of the crime. No chance to cover up the slackness in their absence. I gave my parents enough trouble growing up so I am glad that they always called to say when they would be home so that I could clean up good before they got home.

 

It was this idea of waiting to the last minute before cleaning up and resetting the parsonage to a pristine state that comes to mind when I finished out the reading of Matthew 24 today. Let’s read vv. 45-51 together. Jesus says,

 

 

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

 

There are many of us that treat our relationship with Jesus Christ in the way that I treated my parents when they were out of town. Out of sight. Out of mind. And certainly that was the lesson Jesus was trying to teach the disciples. I don’t think that we have to first see what the passage meant to the first century audience and then take that truth and apply it our lives today. This passage does not have to be extrapolated or interpreted to what it could mean to us based on the central and essential truth of the passage to the original audience. The message is clear to the first century audience and it is clear to the clear to the 21st century audience. We could take our 21st century sensibilities with us back to the first century and stand there with the disciples and I think we would get this one without any trouble. Vv. 45-51 are clear to all audiences throughout the ages.

 

Many today treat Jesus like I treated my parents when I was a teenager back in the late 70s-early 80’s when they went out of town. I did not see their rules and stuff as important until they were headed home. I would see them as important when their return to the parsonage was imminent. I think many today see Jesus in this way. Jesus is something that they can deal with later. I have a life to live before I submit to all those churchy rules. I want to sow my wild oats before I come to Christ. They see a relationship with Jesus as something of a burden to their lifestyle. It would cut back on their freedoms. They see their lifestyle of parties, and chasing sex wherever they can find it, and living life like they are the center of the universe and not caring who gets burned by the wake of their life as better than a life submitted the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Many of us have lived that life in the past. We saw Jesus and those Jesus people as restrictive to my lifestyle. Maybe you are that way now. Maybe your lifestyle you know is against God’s Word but hey Jesus is not around so what the hell! Live life the way you want. That’s the age in which we live in general now. Everybody living the way that they want. Seeking self. Seeking personal pleasure. And seeing that which is self-serving as an inalienable right. It is the party that is being held at the teenager’s house while their parents are out of town. We don’t see Jesus. We can’t touch God so He may as well not exist. There is no penalty, no judgement, no eternity. There is just right here and right now. We can deal with Jesus later.

 

Ignoring Jesus and saying that God does not exist so that we can live out our selfish desires does not make God go away. Jesus is real. God is real. They are one and the same. His Word says that Jesus will return one day to judge the world. Will you wait until there are signs in the sky just like I would be cleaning up my house from the time I heard my parents were headed home often all the way up until they turned in the driveway. Jesus is telling us that He could return at any time. By the time there are signs in the sky, it will be too late for those who have not found their way to giving their heart to Him. Each of us will be judged either at our own physical death or when Jesus returns in the eastern sky in all His glory to claim His own and judge the rest.

 

Are you ready for that? Ignoring that Jesus exists does not make Him not exist. Saying that God does not exist does not make Him not exist. Just because my parent were not around did not mean that they did not exist even though I acted as if they did while they were gone. Saying that the Bible is no longer valid for our lives does not make it invalid. Redefining the truth to suit our culture does not change the truth that is eternal. It is time for you to see God’s truth for what it is, the eternal truth. It is time to stop saying that God does not exist just so you can ignore His Word. As we discussed yesterday, we think we have forever to deal with Jesus, but we are guaranteed nothing. We could die before today is over with. We do not know the time of our demise and we do not know the date and time of Jesus’ return. It is not some far off thing you can deal with later. Don’t let it be too late. Come to Him now. Embrace Jesus Christ and learn that life does actually not end when we come to Jesus but it really does just begin. Come to Him before it is too late. He is delaying His return so that you have the opportunity to come to Him. Come to Him before it is too late!

 

Amen and Amen.

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