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Sunday School Lesson - May 22, 2022
"Keep Serving Faithfully"
Matthew 24:42-51
 
 
The Point:
"Serve Christ faithfully as you wait for His return."
For followers of Christ, "It ain't over till it's over" applies to the return of Christ. We are called to serve Him - and continue serving Him - until He calls us home. 
Matthew 24:42-44

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 

43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 

KEY WORDS: Son of man (v.44) - Jesus' favorite Old Testament title for Himself. The Jews understood that He was making an audacious claim of messianic authority and to Deity. 

Verse 42 is the central turning point in Jesus' Olivet Discourse. The message is clear; people living prior to Christ's return must be ready for His coming. "Watch therefore" is a present imperative in the Greek, which means we are commanded to be continually alert. It is a call for continual expectancy. 

 

The reason we are to be alert is because "ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Christ essentially repeats the truth of the uncertain timing of the Lord's coming we read earlier in verse 36: "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Jesus also said He will return, "in such an hour as ye think not." This is a way of saying that not only will Christ return at a time that seems least likely. It is like the adage, "When you least expect it, expect it."

To get the picture right, we must remember that the alert position of the Christian is not the watching of terror-stricken fear and nervous apprehension. It is watching with eager and joyous expectation for the coming of the One we love and serve. The phrase 'your Lord' is significant. It draws attention to the fact that do not belong to ourselves. Rather it is our master and creator who will return. When we follow Jesus, we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. We are His. He is in charge. 

Jesus compared His return with a thief in the night. Jesus was referring to that "surprise" element when He compared His return to a thief's arrival. 

Just like the burglar, Jesus will not advertise the time of His arrival. Of course, that would be the extent of Christ's similarity to a thief. A thief steals what is not his, Jesus will return to claim that which is His own. 

If Jesus' coming takes us by surprise, it is not because God has not warned, it is because of our own negligence. We know Christ is coming we just don't know when. We need to be ready, all the time. In Daniel 7:13-14, he referred to Jesus as "the Son of man". 

The prophet Daniel saw "the Son of man" as one who is divine. Daniel also prophesied that the Son of man would come suddenly to earth. We see this is Jesus, who was now referring to His return in a sudden, unexpected moment. 

Matthew 24:45-47

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 

46  Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 

Being alert and ready for the return of Christ calls for faithfulness. Faithfulness is a vital concept throughout Scripture. 

>> "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:48). 

>> "It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2).

>> "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). 

Being ready for his return includes our faithfulness to be found doing what we are called to be at the time of Christ's return. The believers life, breath, energy, and gifts are trusts from God to be used in His service. Christ called us to be faithful with whatever He has entrusted to us. A wise servant of Christ always sees obedience as his primary duty. The reward for faithfulness in the responsibilities we've been given in more responsibility. 

Matthew 24:48-51

48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming. 

49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.

50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. 

51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

The evil servant is a servant in name only. He ignores his master's instructions and assumes the rights of authority for himself. We are all called to obey and serve God, but the wicked servant likely is a picture of an unbeliever who refuses to take seriously the call to follow, obey, and serve.

The fact that the wicked servant is not a true believer is underscored by Christ assigning this servant to judgment and to a place where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus frequently referred to weeping and gnashing of teeth that will be done by those who are thrown into hell. 

 

Hell is an uncomfortable subject, but we cannot deny its place in God's Word. As His servants, one of our tasks is to proclaim the gospel and point unsaved people to the hope, grace, and salvation found only in Christ. Let's do that while we can because none of us knows exactly when Christ will return. Once He returns, our opportunity to share Christ will be gone - and so will their opportunity to accept Him. 

For more information on today's lesson, attend Sunday school at our church Sunday May 22, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. We will be glad to have you.