Jesus then gives another illustration of this event. He tells the story of a man who heads out on a journey, delegating duties to each of his servants and commanding the overseer to be vigilant and watch for his return. He told them that he didn’t know how long he would be gone and didn’t want to find them sleeping on the job when he returned.
In context, the obvious application is that when Jesus returns, it will be at a time unknown, but should not be unexpected. Again, this cannot apply to the time when He returns in all His glory as King. According to Daniel, a specific time has been allotted for the tribulation; and we can know for sure that the LORD will return seven years after it starts.
Daniel 9:25–27 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
In summary, the reference to Messiah being cut off is a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus. After that time, Jerusalem and the temple will be destroyed (which happened in 70 AD). The “prince that shall come” is a reference to the Antichrist. The first real identifying factor of the Antichrist will be when he confirms a covenant between Israel and “many” nations for one week, or seven years. In the middle of that week, he will break the covenant and stop all sacrifices when he declares himself to be God in the temple, as revealed by Paul.
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
This act is the abomination of desolation foretold by Jesus earlier in this chapter.
Jesus gives yet another illustration of a man whose home is robbed because he had no way of knowing that a thief was coming. If he had known, he would surely have been prepared.
There are some verses in Revelation that I think are directly related to this illustration.
Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
The purpose of each illustration is to point out the importance of expectation and preparation. Jesus is going to come without warning, like the thief, and we need to ever be in a state of expectation and readiness. The one who is truly watching will be ready—will not be in a position of shame to meet the Savior. This is a truth that has become much more important and real to me as I have grown older and more absorbed in His Word. I am so much more aware of what I am doing each minute. I so want the Spirit to be at home in my being. This makes it much easier to make choices in entertainment and in how I prioritize my time.
The LORD goes on to say that the servant who is busy doing what he was assigned to do will be rewarded. The evil servant that is disobedient and wicked in light of the fact that his master’s return is delayed will be appointed his portion with the hypocrites. He will be revealed for who he truly is—a servant in name only.
Jesus goes on to emphasize the importance of avoiding sinful behavior that will result in one being surprised and unprepared when He comes. He then goes on to say that you want to be accounted worthy of escaping all the things that will come to pass (in reference to the tribulation) and standing before the Son of Man (Himself). This emphasizes the truth that He is talking about the rapture. So, how is one accounted worthy? By being clothed in the righteousness of Jesus as a result of accepting His gift of salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Come Lord Jesus!