A missionary who impacted my life often signed her letters with her signature, then D.V., and often with R.F.A.. D.V.? = Deo Volente = God willing. She knew her plans were subject to God’s and she committed her way to Him every single day. R.F.A.? = Ready for Anything. I think all Christ followers should plan carefully but remind themselves of the will of God and then be ‘ready for anything’ and be ‘willing to serve.’
As Jesus concluded His prophetic instruction to His followers as they passed through the temple property, He left them with a sense of uncertainty yet great certainty. The uncertainty = “No one knows” “You do not know” “you do not know…” Could He have said it more clearly? The timing of the Son of God’s return is in the Father’s hands. No human teacher or preacher has an inside track allowing them to prognosticate and set the hands of the prophetic clock. There is a sense of uncertainty.
Yet there is certainty. With urgency, evidenced by the exclamation marks in the NIV’s translation of this text, Jesus presses three commands which reiterate the same imperative. “Be on guard! Be alert! Watch!”
His illustration of a homeowner taking a trip provides the framework for their conduct. The homeowner leaves his house. He assigns various tasks to various servants before he leaves. None of the servants know when he will return. He could come in the evening, or midnight, when the rooster crows or at dawn. He will come and if he comes suddenly no servant should be sleeping instead of serving.
As the old ‘prophetic’ hymn queries – “O can we say we are ready, brother?….. Say, will He find you and me still watching. Waiting, waiting ’til the Lord shall come?”