November 6 (Daily reading: Mark 13) Even before Jesus returned to heaven, the disciples were asking Him about the end times (v. 4). After He was gone, they had questions about when He would return to earth as He had promised. Questions and speculations about His return are still going on in our day. One thing is certain: He is coming back! So, what should we do?
First, He said, “See to it that no one misleads you” (v. 5). Many would come, some saying they were the returning Christ, others claiming to have figured out just when and how it would all end. We should not be misled by these, because Jesus also said: “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (v. 32). Then He told us how we should wait: “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.” He told the story of a man who went away on a journey. The man told the doorkeeper to stay on the alert: “You do not know when the master of the house is coming … What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’” (vv. 33-37).
This period of watching and waiting for His return is not a time of inactivity. In the story, before the master put his servants on alert, he assigned tasks to his servants to accomplish during his absence. In Matthew’s account, the servant who was left in charge was encouraged to be “faithful” in accomplishing the master’s assignment until he returns (Mt. 24:45). Paul described it this way for those who are “servants of Christ … it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:1-2, NIV).
– Al Gary