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Preparing for Jesus' Return

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Luke 12:35–48 NASB95
35 “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. 36 “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43 “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44 “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 “But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, 48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
John 1:1–18 NASB95
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
The passage consists of a series of parables. It includes three different, but connected parables, and is specifically directed toward Jesus’ disciples, though Jesus had a crowd surrounding Him. In the passage, Jesus exhorts us to being ready for His return, to understand the unexpected nature of His second coming a warns us to not reject his offer.

Ready for His Return (vs. 35-36)

Be Dressed With Readiness. (vs. 35)

The Nature of Jesus

If someone asked you if Jesus was God or human, how would you answer?

Discussion Question: Why do you think it’s important that the Word became flesh?
Matthew 1:23 NASB95
23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
Jesus has no beginning. (vs. 1)
In verse 1, John describes the nature of the Word by saying “In the beginning was the Word”, which suggests that Jesus has no beginning. John further describes the nature of of Jesus by saying Jesus is separate, yet the same as God.
Jesus is separate, yet the same as God. (vs. 1)
Discussion Question: Why do you think it’s important that the Word became flesh?
Picture what it means to be dressed. Have you ever been going to go pick up somebody and told them to be dress when you get there and when you go there they wasn’t dressed so you had to wait a long time and they ended up making you late?
Discussion Question: Some people, especially in this generation, find it hard to believe that Jesus was born of a Virgin Mary. What would you say to such persons?
I would ask them “Would you serve a God that was limited to your imagination?”
As the saying goes, “if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” When Luke says “be dressed with readiness,” he is saying we must be ready to go when Jesus comes to pick us up. We ought to have a sense of urgency when it comes to preparing for Jesus’ return. The urgency is to be likened to when God told the Israelites to be ready to leave Egypt when the Passover was coming (, ).
Discussion question: What types of things prevent us from being ready to go or cause us to procrastinate in our relationship with Jesus?

Why Did God Become Human?

Keep Your Lamps Burning. (vs. 35)

When Jesus says “keep you lamps burning,” He is saying there should be some continuity in our relationship with Him. There are exhortations all over the Word of God that tell us to “continue” in the faith.
Discussion Question: Have you ever started something, but didn’t finish? What are the things that cause people to not finish? How can you continue in the faith?

Be Like Men Who Are Waiting. (vs. 36)

Anybody ever started something, but didn’t finish it?
Community (
Growth (2 Peter 1:3-11)

Be Like Men Who Are Waiting. (vs. 36)

The imagery can be seen more vividly in Matthew 25:1-13.
Matthew 25:1–13 NIV
1 “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.
The imagery of continuity can be seen more vividly in Matthew 25:1-13.
I would ask them “Would you serve a God that was limited to your imagination?”
To Reveal God to Humanity.
Discussion Question: Have you ever started something, but didn’t finish? What are the things that cause people to not finish?Discussion Question: What made five of the virgins foolish? What made five of the virgins prudent/wise?
Matthew 25:1–13 NASB95
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6 “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. 7 “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12 “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
How can we as the church continue to reveal God to humanity?
It is better for you to be waiting on the Lord, then for the Lord to have to wait on you.
Talk about verse 37 (not on outline)
To Provide an Empathetic High Priest.

The Unexpected Nature (vs. 38-40)

In verse 38, describes the time of His return as being in the second watch or third watch. Unlike the Jews, the Romans divided time into four watches: 6pm-9pm, 9pm-12am, 12am-3am and 3am-6am. The phrases “second watch” or “third watch” are refrring between the hours of 9pm and 3am.
In verse 39, Jesus compares himself to a thief that breaks in at at unknown hour.
In verse 40, Jesus makes a final statement about His unexpected nature by stating that “the Son of Man will be coming at an hour that you do not expect.
As such, the time to be represented is the time is not only unexpected but when watching is the most difficult. The timing reiterates the theme of continuity as it encourages spiritual watchfulness even at a time where most would fall spiritually asleep.
Discussion Question: What are examples of difficult situations that may cause people to spiritually fall asleep and how do you overcome spiritual sleepiness?
Discussion Question: What made five of the virgins foolish? What made five of the virgins prudent/wise?
[2] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Luke, 337.
To Model the Fullness of Human Life.

3 Things to help you get ready and stay ready


Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV
9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.


To Provide a Substitute Sacrifice.


Hebrews 10:23–25 NIV
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25


To Bind Up Demonic Powers.


2 Peter 1:3–11 NIV
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Serve as a Just and Final Judge
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