Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 15th May 2016
Quarter Theme: Living with Eternity in View
Topic: Keeping Watch
Texts: Matthew 24:1-51
Memory Verse: Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Jesus gave a crucial end-time prophecy shortly before His crucifixion, recorded in Matthew 24 as we have read above and also in Mark 13 and Luke 21. It’s valuable to study this prophecy often.
Jesus’ disciples wanted to know what to watch for. “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3).
Significantly, the very first thing that Jesus responded with was a somber warning of what to watch out for: “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4). Sadly, many are deceived. Many who call themselves Christians are deceived into thinking that Christ will not literally return to the earth, even though He repeatedly promised He would, or that He will return in some manner different from what He told us.
In the rest of the chapter, Jesus answers their questions by revealing the future key trends and conditions for which it would be critically important to watch.
Jesus then urged His disciples to “watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into” (Matthew 24:42-43).
After Jesus’ resurrection, He again said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:7). However, in spite of Jesus’ statements, countless people have foolishly tried to predict the time of His second coming. It is because we don’t know the timing that we must keep watching.
Continuing in Matthew 24, Jesus said, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44) Watching reminds us and motivates us to remain ready. That’s the main idea!
Shortly after, Jesus warns of the temptation to think, “My master is staying away a long time” (Matthew 24:48,) When a person thinks he has more than enough time to get ready, he is seriously tempted to let down spiritually (Matthew 24:49-51).
The parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) emphasizes staying spiritually prepared and ready. Keeping one’s lamp filled with oil represents staying close to God and staying filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus concluded the parable by saying, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (March 25:13).
Christ was quite emphatic here in commanding us to do four things whilst we are watching:
- Take heed to what He had just said.
- Watch for the signs He had outlined.
- Pray regularly and earnestly so that we stay close to God.
- Keep doing God’s work!
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- Read Matthew 22:1-14; Mathew 25:1-30. What new insight on watching have you observed from the 3 Parables you just read?
- What daily practical steps can we take to keep watching as the day dawn?