Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
Matthew 24:42 NIV
Dogs have a talent for intense staring. Their attention span is phenomenal when food is involved. They can sit an unlimited amount of time totally focused on you and your food. There is no doggie boot camp training involved. Each dog seems to be born with this innate behavior.
If you do not regularly feed your dog from the table, they still play the waiting game. A crumb dropped from your fork is fair game and a reward for their attentive patience. At least, that is the scenario that plays out in our house. The big dogs can stare you down and make eye contact while the little ones jump on your legs hoping to get your attention.
As humans, we could use a little more focus. We are easily distracted and multi-tasking is considered an asset. Quantity can become more important that quality in this fast paced world. Family, careers, friends, hobbies and much more vie for our attention. It is hard for us to totally fix our attention on one thing and stay focused.
Jesus told us to watch for his coming. We are not to be distracted by all the popular beliefs that flood our airwaves and cause confusion. Many things are worthwhile but he is front and center. He told his disciples that he would return. The angels also told the disciples that Jesus would return just as he left in Acts 1. Paul writes of Jesus’ second coming in I Thessalonians. John writes in Revelation 1:7, “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”, and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.’
Matthew 24 is titled The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times. Jesus lists many signs and happenings for which we should be aware so we are not deceived. He tells us to watch. We need to focus and fix our eyes on him (Hebrews 12:2). Be attentive and like the dogs, watch and wait, without distractions.
We can become quite fearful of the end times. What if we are deceived? Will we be ready? The disciples fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus needed them the most. He only requested them to watch and pray and they failed the assignment. Will we do the same?
Instead of being fearful, let’s focus on Jesus. Let us know him and his word intimately. Let us study to find ourselves approved (II Timothy 2:15). When we know him as our personal friend and redeemer, we will not be fooled by those masquerading as angels of light (II Corinthians 11:14). We will be found intently watching and waiting for his return. Like the dogs, nothing will distract us from our mission. Nothing will be more appealing than spending time with Jesus.
Many use the example of FBI agents being able to recognize counterfeit money. They don’t worry overmuch about the fake but spend hours of study on the real thing. They are so familiar with the legitimate item that they realize immediately when fake money is presented.
Jesus is the real thing. He is totally legit and you can’t go wrong by spending hours in his presence. You won’t be fooled by the fake when you know Jesus as your Redeemer and Lord.