In Matthew 24:43, Jesus commands his disciples to “understand,” or have the knowledge of this reality and prepare. The context of this command is Jesus’s teaching on the second coming of Christ, with the emphasis on the suddenness of His coming and the impossibility of preparing (1 Thes 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15).
Christ will return at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. In an instant, He will take away or destroy everything that unbelievers hold precious, bringing an end to the world’s most devastating period in all history.
In His mercy, Jesus warns the unbeliever to be ready by accepting Him as Savior. Jesus warned His believers to be ready at all times. The same principle applies to those who are awaiting the Rapture, which will occur so quickly there will be no time to prepare once it starts: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thes 5:2).
Jesus’s coming will be unexpected and surprising, just as the entrance of a thief. No one can even guess when He will appear. Believers must be constantly prepared, because “the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (Matt 24:44).
Jesus describes the “faithful and sensible slave” whom the master finds alert and occupied with the “charge of feeding the entire household” (Matt 24:45)—-that is, he is found being responsible for priorities. Every believer is given a responsibility to be a steward of his life, strength, talents, spiritual gifts, and circumstances, which are to be used for Christ’s purposes and glory: “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes” (24:46).
There is no way of measuring the significance of the “blessedness” that will result from being occupied in God’s purposes in the world when the King arrives. Such a person does not have to be told what to do; he just knows what the King wants done and never wastes time in meaningless pursuits. Our only goal in life is for Jesus to interrupt us in the midst of activities for His kingdom.
“Lord, You are coming soon. Everything points to Your prompt return. Help me to always ask, ‘Do I want my Lord to come and find me doing this?’ I want to live for You today.”