10. KEEP WATCH!
Background: Before this Jesus has told about the signs
of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. He has
spoken about the persecution of Christians, delusions, wars and
catastrophes but also about the signs of spring. Now he starts
talking about the time of his return. Verses 34-35 contain a
small parable of the master of a house, who is going abroad and
arranges works in his house during his absence. As the master
Jesus means himself and as the house he means his church.
Verses 32-33. (Verse 31 will be dealt last.)
- What would have happened if Jesus had announced the exact
date of his return?
- How is it possible that Jesus himself does not know the day
of his return, even though he is Almighty God?
- What scares or cheers you the most when you think of
- What kind of images do you get from the expression
“keeping watch”? What is a Christian like who is
Verse 34. At that time there were many slaves in a house.
The only duty of a certain slave was to stay awake at night and
guard the door. Night watchmen are still employed by private
homes in many countries of Asia and Africa.
- What can a person do to keep himself awake even when he feels
- What do you think about the role of a doorkeeper, do you
think it is easy or difficult? Give reasons for your answer.
- How might a doorkeeper have been equipped for a thief at the
- What could the duty of a doorkeeper mean in the Christian
church and to whom does it belong?
- If you are a Christian, God has given you dutya in his
“house.” What could be your duty? (You can also
answer quietly in your heart.)
Verse 35. The night was then divided into three-hour
watches, which were: the evening (nine o’clock), midnight,
cockcrow (three o’clock), and dawn.
- Think of various reasons why the master of the parable did
not come back during daylight hours?
- What would happen a) to the master and b) to the doorkeeper
if the doorkeeper slept when the master returned home?
- Imagine that a doorkeeper had guarded every night for ten
years and nothing would ever have happened. How would it affect
his work motivation?
- Think about how the relationship between the master and the
doorkeeper affected the work motivation of the latter? a) If he
did not like his master or b) if he loved the master.)
- What is meant by the evening, midnight, cockcrow and dawn in
the history of the Christian church? What hour do you think we
are now living?
- If Jesus came back tonight, would his return happen
unexpectedly? Give reasons for your view.
- Have you ever been afraid of falling asleep before
Jesus’ return? In what situation did you feel that kind of
- What happens to those church doorkeepers who sleep when Jesus
returns on earth?
- To whom “all” does Jesus say these words? (What
is the message in these words of Jesus to indifferent people or
even to those who hate Christianity?)
- Heaven, earth and everything we own are only temporal. What
conclusions should we draw from this fact?
- What light does this verse bring to the following text about
keeping watch? (How can the word of God keep us awake until the
- How did the asleep fallen church doorkeeper perhaps react to
- Where is the cross of Jesus in this text?
- Based on this text, do you think it is possible that Jesus
would come twice, before and after the Great Tribulation?
Glad tidings: Jesus kept watch in Gethsemane while
shedding blood sweat. Our watch keeping means that we stick to
the word of God in both major and minor things without forgetting
what Jesus has done for us.