Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
This parable of being ready, dressed for action and having our lamps alight is so interesting because it comes after the parable about coveting and greed that we looked at last week. Jesus encourages people to not be anxious or worried and then jumps straight into this story about being ready and alert for the coming of Christ. The order that Luke writes this in is no accident; he’s revealing how Jesus connects the dots. The connection between being awake and attached to the things of this world is a very close relationship for Jesus.
It is so easy to fall asleep to the things that matter to Jesus if we let a love of this world be our driving force. Sin puts us asleep. It causes us as humans to lose sight of what is truly important. When serving Jesus is secondary, we will fall asleep. We need an awakening. We need the eyes of our heart to wake up and behold the value and glory of Christ again.
Jesus calls us blessed if we are of those who stay awake to things that matter. The promise is worth paying attention to. For those who stay awake, Jesus promises to dress Himself for service and welcomes us to a table to serve us! He has called us to serve others and to serve His church here on earth, and we might think this is a sacrifice—but when we understand what He has prepared for us, the sacrifice of staying awake in our serving becomes insignificant. Jesus is preparing a table in eternity for us. The Creator of all things has given us His very life, His Holy Spirit, His word, forgiveness of sins, new life, a fresh start, purpose beyond ourselves—the list goes on and on. All this is surely enough motivation and blessing to make us realize that we should live awake and ready to serve Him. Yet Jesus goes even beyond all this, and in this parable lets us in on what He is preparing for those who don't fall asleep to His purposes. He is preparing to serve us! He is preparing a table—for you and me and all those who put their trust in Him—to recline at and to enjoy Him.
The question is then, “Are we awake?” Or are we asleep with complaint, complacency, apathy, laziness, lack of passion or other things that can grab ahold of the attitudes in our hearts? We need an awakening if serving Jesus is not a privilege. We need an awakening if we aren’t moved to share His love. We need God to rid us of the love of this world if we don't see His church as vital and integral to our cities and towns. We need an awakening. This city needs a people and a church fully awake and fully alive in Him.
May we be a church, a people, fully alive, wide awake with awe and wonder about Jesus. May we be found awake, alert and serving His good news to all those around us. If we find that our eyes are closing with tiredness, may we gaze again upon the brightness of His glory. May His immense and abundant love wake us up to the wonder of His name and the great purpose He has for each of us.
Let's live wide awake for His name. Let's be a church committed to waking others up with His love and grace.
May it be said about us that we are humans wide awake and fully alive.
// Ps Josh Kelsey