Matins Devotion: November 8, 2023
Many have read this passage from Matthew and fixated on unknowability of Christ’s return. “No man knows the day or the hour.” Some have outright defied the truth of this statement. Claiming that they can read the newspaper, study the lunar calendar, enumerate the Hebrew alphabet and predict with precision the exact moment of Christ’s return. Of course, they’ve always been wrong. And they will continue to be. Others have used these words of Jesus to attempt to frighten people into the faith. Like a kind of theological jump scare. Bam! That could have been Jesus coming back right now. You’d better be ready…if Jesus came back would he approve of what you’re wearing right now or the music you’re listening to? I don’t think so.
But in this passage, Jesus isn’t trying to goad us into guessing or giving us free license to frighten people into faith. Instead, he points us to the blessedness of waiting.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.”
You see, faith is all about waiting. It’s hearing the promises of God, believing them, anticipating them, waiting patiently and hopefully for the day to come on which the substance of all those promises will be revealed. And what Jesus is saying to us in this passage is “Hey, when you look around at this world and you see everything falling apart, when it looks like evil and sin and death and violence and anger and all these wicked forces are winning, when you look around and the very foundation of civilization as you have known it seems to be crumbling. When you look around and this is what you see—just wait! Just be patient. Just keep doing the work that I’ve called you to do. Keep serving your neighbor in love. Continue in my word. The servant who waits like this…the servant who waits in faith…is blessed.”
Are you ready for Christ’s return? Yes. Christ himself made you ready when he washed your sins away at the font. He continues to make you ready by richly and daily forgiving all your sins through his church. And because you have been made ready, you can wait in faith. You can know the blessedness of waiting. You can serve your Master faithfully until he comes. Because no matter how long the wait may be…you are ready.