By Not Known
“If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.” (Mark 13:36)
When Nehemiah led the people to complete the restoration of the wall in Jerusalem, he finished a chapter in the history of the Jews. Another chapter is coming to an end too in Mark’s gospel. In Jesus’ words in Mark 13:32-37, he has placed his followers on another wall – the wall of the world, the earthly city. It would be frightening for the people within these walls if the owner returns and there is no one to warn them. It would be a disgraceful thing if the warning doesn’t come because the watchmen are asleep.
Here, Jesus is protecting his followers from embarrassment. His warning was unmistakable and strong. “Watch out” (13:5), he said. “You must be on your guard” (13:9). “Be on your guard” (13:23) he said and again in 13:33, “Keep watch” (13:35), “Watch!” (13:37). Jesus is not repeating himself because he is old or forgetful. He repeats himself because it is extremely important.
These warnings should even be more emphatic today, in an age of deception and persecution. We ought to prepare ourselves, and others, for his coming. As his disciples, we must be alert!
Why? Do we as true disciples be worried about his return? Is it that we have to be fearful even though we have been promised safety and rest and rewards? No, we need not be anxious and worried. What we need is to keep in mind that we are so easily distracted by so many things around us and by our passivity in living a life that is ready for his return.
All watchmen on any wall must be alert in keeping watch. Always be prepared and ready to serve. Diligent and zealous in doing the owner’s biddings for we live in the war zone and the enemies are ever near to strike at us.
Even though we know to be watchful and alert, the issue is how do we do it in the real-life context within the daily grind of our world today.
For those at the camp, may you be challenged and commit yourselves to stand in the gap and be the watchmen and watchwomen amongst us. For those of us who are not, may we continue to uphold us all in prayers.