Do you remember the pop quizzes in school? They never seemed very fair; however, if you step back and consider one perspective of their purpose maybe they are not as unfair as they seem. Think about the teacher who gives the students a warning and says, "Take good notes and study because I will have pop quizzes on this information." So, the students have been given fair warning and understand that it is important to study regularly so the information will be in their minds in the event of a pop quiz. The teacher designed the pop quizzes not to trap the students, but more to motivate them to study on a regular basis. The verses I am looking at this morning made me think of pop quizzes; please use the link and read Matthew 24:36-51 to see why.
Jesus told His disciples that He didn't even know the exact moment He would return, which He then reminded them how important it was to always be on their guard and be ready. He used a parable to explain what His return would be like - an owner coming back unexpectedly to see how the head servant was treating all the other servants. So, the question that you may be asking is this: Is God just trying to catch us doing something wrong? I don't think so...actually, I think it is the exact opposite.
Think again on the idea of the pop quiz. Perhaps the material being learned is difficult and requires a consistent study habit. The teacher knows that most of the students in their class would wait until the last minute to study the material if they always knew when the test was coming. The students wouldn't really be retaining the information because they were studying just enough for that one test. But if the teacher told the class to study every day because there would be pop quizzes, perhaps the students would be more motivated to study regularly, thus having a deeper understanding of the material and better retention.
Perhaps this warning that Jesus gave was really more of an opportunity to succeed and grow in our faith. Since God created us, He fully understands our natural inclinations. If we all knew when Jesus was coming, maybe we would be more inclined to live the life that pleases our human nature until we got close to His return. To live the life that God wants us to live requires us to be persistent and purposeful in the choices we make. If we have no idea the day or hour of His return, we will be more inclined to be on our guard and more consistent with living out the life that pleases God (which, ultimately is the life that leads to good choices). You see, I believe that our Creator isn't One who is looking for our every little mistake; I believe He is One who empowers us to live out a life of vibrant faith. He doesn't want us to fail; He wants us to succeed!
Do you believe that God wants what is best for you?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.