The first time our house was robbed, the thieves came in by a side window after turning off the power to the house. They took what they wanted and left by the front door. When I got home, I just thought my wife had left the door unlocked, and then that the power had gone out. When I went to check with my neighbors, that’s when I realized that someone had broken in. It was unnerving. The second time we got robbed, my wife came home to find the door kicked in. We felt completely violated…especially when the door was kicked in and we had to stop everything to get that fixed.
Jesus was talking about His return, His second coming to the disciples and He was trying to make them understand the need to be ready. He isn’t going to broadcast His return. Even when He talked about signs that would be fulfilled, He added that we still don’t know the time. “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:39-40)
When I read how Jesus used a home invasion as a parable of His second coming, it hit home. I understand the feeling. If I had any idea that my home was going to be broken into, I would have called in sick, or arranged for friends to be nearby, or called to have the police waiting for the crooks as they came out of the house. Crooks and robbers, though, don’t advertise their plans. I was never tagged on a post in Facebook to let me know that my house had been selected for robbery. Instead, I have to assume that someone might want to break in sometime and make preparations against it. Jesus used that example to look at the unknown part of His return. We don’t know the day and the hour He’s coming back. We’ve had lots of predictions of that date throughout the years, but God apparently decided that His timetable was better than ours. It’s easy to get lax in our faith while we’re waiting, but God does have a job for us in the meanwhile: share His good news!
I have to admit that it would be more fun to remind people that they’re sinners with a self-satisfied smile. Oh, how much enjoyment I could get out of telling my enemies that they’re bound for hell because of their sins. But the gospel is good news. The good news is not that “You’re gonna get it!” The good news is that God loves each and every person who walks on the face of the earth and that He has offered mercy and forgiveness for our sins because of His grace. We have plenty of people who stand ready to condemn others, in the faith or out of it, perhaps realizing that they were once on the wrong side of grace. I tend to think that most people do a good job of condemning themselves when they are caught in sin. They don’t need to be kicked while they’re down. They need a message of redemption, a message of grace. When I see a drowning man, my job is to throw him a life preserver, not attack him for missing the sign that told him not to swim there because of dangerous conditions. While I’m waiting for the return of Jesus, I plan to show grace.
Lord God, I am eager to see the return of Jesus to this earth. Please remind me that in the meanwhile I am called to be His hands, His feet, His heart reaching out with love and grace. Let my words and my life reflect Your mercy and grace to those who need to know how much You love them.