Gospel Words: 16. Waiting for the Lord

Luke 12:35‑38  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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THROUGHOUT this chapter the Lord is withdrawing His disciples, now that His rejection proceeded and His departure approached, from their thoughts and ways as Jews. This is ever wholesome, for it grounds the believer in Christianity, which nature and the world resist. But then it was absolutely requisite and of the highest value that they should be weaned from the old weak and beggarly elements, to learn, enjoy, and live the new thing. It is not the power of Messiah present and governing here below, hut God’s word and Spirit. Hence the unseen and eternal things are revealed; hence confession of the truth, of the rejected One, is imperative, as God only is to be feared, and the danger is of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Only the gracious Lord encourages the faith that owns Him by the very things which terrify unbelief. Earthly justice is not His care now; nor should earthly care be theirs. What was the portion of the rich man that forgot his soul?
The disciples are called to confide in Him who feeds the ravens, and clothes the lilies and the grass, with a glory beyond Solomon’s. Why then should they be anxious like the nations of the world? Their Father knows their bodily wants, and adds these things to such as seek His kingdom, Moreover He would have them of good courage for was it not His delight to give them the kingdom? Hence, far from covetousness, they were called to be kings now in superiority to money. The world was no more their quest, but to use it things in unselfish love. This is to make for themselves an unfailing treasure in the heavens, when also their heart was to be. And thus in practice they become heavenly. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning, and ye like men awaiting their own lord, when he may return from the wedding, that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those bondmen whom the lord on coming shall find watching! Verily I say to you, that he will gird himself, and make them recline at table, and come up and serve them. And if he come in the second watch, and in the third, and find them so, blessed are they!” (vers. 35-38.)
Here then beyond just question the Lord lays down the attitude of the Christian. Is it yours? He Himself is the test beyond all else. It is not consistent with faith to be worried with anxiety about the things that perish. It is well to be of good cheer, knowing His love and His purpose of glory for the little flock, tried and exposed as it now is. But to be like men that wait for their own lord is a still more positive and decisive test. It presupposes in a personal way faith working by love. Their treasure is in the heavens where He is. They love Him, because He first loved them. They do not forget Him in His absence; they are not merely occupied with their work, for indeed their loins were girt about and their lamps burning, but themselves awaiting their own Lord. Nor again were they discussing dates, nor on the lookout for political change, nor yet with eyes fixed on signs in the sun, moon, and stars. The Christian watches for Christ. He, his life, his righteousness, his Savior, his Lord, is gone with the promise of coming to receive him to Himself, one knows not how soon. And He has sent His last message since that He is coming quickly.
Therefore would we not doubt but wait, content with His word Who is the Truth, and the Faithful and True Witness. Long as it may seem, He is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, “but is longsuffering toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” As He is waiting, so should we be; and thus we keep the word of His patience, but assure our hearts in the bright hope. Is He not worthy? is not the hope well worth the while? and is it not deep consolation that meanwhile many hear His voice, believe in His name, and with us wait for Him?
O my reader, if it be not so with you, where are you, and what? You well know whether you are waiting for the Lord Jesus; yea others, even the world, can in fair measure judge whether this is your habitual attitude. The Lord recognizes no other object of hope in His own. This is also the chief responsibility as His bondmen. Be assured that other duties will be done all the better, because this has the first and constant place. Read all the N.T. and see if this hope be not bound up with every joy and sorrow, with the walk and work and worship of the Christian, who found in Him the object of faith when he was a lost sinner, and now as a saint has none other as his hope. If you believe in Him, be not untrue to Him as your hope, but judge yourself in everything that hinders your waiting for Him day by day.
If you have no faith in Him, how sad is your estate! Perhaps you are so beguiled by the spirit of the age growingly infidel, as to deny His glory as the Son of God and His humiliation as the Son of man. Perhaps you deny His resurrection, if not His death, yea the death of the cross. You deny all this at your peril; and your peril is everlasting punishment. For it is folly to suppose that, if the Son of God came to be propitiation for our sins, God did not give adequate proof to make mankind responsible to receive Him, and verily, fatally, guilty in rejecting Him. To reject a divine Person, Who in infinite love deigned to die in order to save you and me by faith from judgment, cannot be a secondary thing. It is the truth that God now testifies to all in the gospel, which bears the self-evidence of His holy love as no pretended sacred book does comparably. It has been proved to the peace and joy and salvation of millions as guilty and incredulous as you. Why then be so careless, so mad, so wicked as to fight more against God, and turn His message of mercy, because refused, into a sentence of condemnation righteous and everlasting? Receiving the Lord Jesus by faith, you are entitled by God’s grace to salvation, and can then welcome His coming with love and delight and triumph. You can then join those that are waiting for Him, that, when He knocks, you may open to Him immediately.
Job 38:77When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7) appears to express poetically the joy of the orbs of heaven when first ushered in as the hosts of heaven, with the audible acclaim of the angels, who in this book as in Genesis are called God’s sons.