If Jesus spoke to us today, One of His questions might be, Are You Watching?
Commandments to be watchful and alert were common themes in our Savior's messages. This theme spilled over into the apostle's teachings to the Church. Instructions for Christians to watch with readiness are throughout the New Testament. For the followers of Christ, who stay in His Word, it could be said that we are informed and we live with our eyes wide open.
Warnings always get our attention. We see a yellow triangle and we stop what we're doing to discover the potential danger so that we can avoid it. This is the reason why the Lord instructed His people to watch, to be alert, and to live ready. He wants us to avoid peril and He wants us obtaining God's blessings. In the Bible, the words watch, be alert, and wake up are important warning signs that apply to all of us today.
Watch, grēgoreō in the Greek, to be awake, to give strict attention to, to be on the alert. This Greek word is frequently translated into,"Watch," and "be on the alert." It appears 23 times in the New Testament.
What are we told to watch for?
Take a look at these:
Matt. 24:42, "Watch, therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming."
Mark 25:13, "Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come."
Matt. 26:38, "Then He said to them, 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.'”
Matt. 26:40, "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, 'What, could ye not watch with me one hour?'"
Matt. 26:41, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Mark 13:35, "Therefore, you watch: for you know not when the master of the house will come, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning..." (Jesus to His disciples on the subject of His second coming.)
Mark 13:37, "And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!"
Acts 20:31, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I did not cease warning you every night and day with tears.“ (Paul’s exhortation to be on the alert "watch" for false teachers and their false doctrine.)
1 Cor. 16:13, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."
Col. 4:2, "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving..."
1 Thes. 5:6, "Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (Paul's instructions concerning the coming "day of the Lord.")
1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour..." (Here we find the translators chose "be vigilant" for the same word that is translated elsewhere, "watch for" and "be on the alert".)
Rev. 3:2, "Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God." (Jesus' words to the Christian community in Sardis. In the original language of NT words, "wake up" is the same word as "watch" "be on the alert." In Rev. 3:2, the usage of the word means, "wake up!")
Rev. 3:3, "Remember therefore what you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come to you."
Rev. 16:14, "Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed."
To 21st century Christians, devote yourselves to prayer and be on the alert. Watch out for false teachers and their false doctrines. Wake up! Watch for the day of the Lord! He is coming at a day and hour when many won't expect Him. Blessed are all who live as though they are expecting His return.
Are you watching? What are your thoughts about living alert and ready? Are you better at living watchful in certain areas of your life, but aren't as good in others? What helps remind you to expect Jesus' return? I invite you to drop your answers and thoughts in the comment box.
(Thank you Massaoud for the photo.)