THIS WEEK: Jesus’ Teaching on his 2nd Coming!
Semper Paratus! … Always prepared!
This phrase is the motto of the United States Coast Guard. Not knowing when an emergency will call, they need to be ready at a moment’s notice at all times.
Semper Paratus…Always prepared!
This is also a great motto for the Christian as we await the return of Jesus. Jesus is coming back, but we don’t know when.
In Matthew chapters 24 & 25, Jesus gives teaching on what to look for and what to expect. He gives signs that signal the end is coming, but yet he never gives day, month and year. Rather, he just wants us to be ready. This week we’ll explore a few of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 24 & 25.
Being prepared is a mindset. It is a mindset that believes something will happen, even though we don’t know when it will happen. It is a mindset that leads us to want to be prepared so we are not caught unprepared.
To drive home this point to his followers, Jesus told the parable of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13:
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Jesus’ story is a poignant reminder of the reality of Jesus’ coming, but yet the unexpected nature. It’s easy to get tired of waiting and become complacent. What the oil represents in the parable is perhaps unclear, but whatever it represents, it teaches us to have extra. If its faith, don’t let go of your faith thinking it doesn’t matter. If it’s simply representative of a mindset that reminds us Jesus IS coming back and we need to be ready, the truth is evident.
No one wants to be an unprepared fool, but rather an always prepared wise person. Preparation keeps us always connected to Jesus (He knows us.) and it always is ready for Jesus to appear (He saves us.)
Semper paratus, Christian!
Apply: What distracts you from being ready for Jesus’ return? What might be helpful to keep the reality of Jesus’ coming forefront in your mind and heart?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being willing to come the first time to live, die and rise again for us. Thank you for your promise of a second coming. Keep us vigilant and always ready! AMEN.