Matthew 24:44
Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(44) In such an hour as ye think not.—The words are important as showing that even the signs which were to be as the budding of the fig-tree at the approach of summer were intended only to rouse the faithful to watchfulness, not to enable men to fix the times and the seasons which the Father hath set in His own power. The apparent destiny of failure which has attended on all attempts to go beyond this in the interpretation of the apocalyptic eschatology of Scripture might have been avoided had men been more careful to restrain here also their efforts after knowledge “within the limits of the knowable.”

24:42-51 To watch for Christ's coming, is to maintain that temper of mind which we would be willing that our Lord should find us in. We know we have but a little time to live, we cannot know that we have a long time to live; much less do we know the time fixed for the judgment. Our Lord's coming will be happy to those that shall be found ready, but very dreadful to those that are not. If a man, professing to be the servant of Christ, be an unbeliever, covetous, ambitious, or a lover of pleasure, he will be cut off. Those who choose the world for their portion in this life, will have hell for their portion in the other life. May our Lord, when he cometh, pronounce us blessed, and present us to the Father, washed in his blood, purified by his Spirit, and fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.Be ye also ready - Luke Luk 21:36 says that he charged them to pray always, that they might be accounted worthy to escape those things - the judgments coming upon the wicked - and to stand before the Son of man - that is, to stand there approved by him, or to be admitted to his favor. He also charged them Luke 21:34 to take heed and not to suffer their hearts to be overcharged with surfeiting, or too much eating, or drunkenness, or the cares of this life, lest that day should come upon them unawares; things improper if there were no judgment - especially mad and wicked when the judgment is near. CHAPTER 24

Mt 24:1-51. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37.

Ver. 42-44. Mark saith, Mark 13:33, Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. What our Lord here meaneth by watching is easily gathered, as well by what went before, where our Saviour had been speaking of the security and luxury of the old world, as by what followeth, Matthew 24:44, where he biddeth them be always ready; and therefore Luke 21:34-36, expounds this thus: And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Our Saviour in these verses, from the uncertainty of the particular time when the day of judgment shall be, presseth upon his disciples a sober, heavenly, and holy life; intimating that by such a life only they can make themselves ready for the coming of Christ, and to stand before the Son of man, when he shall appear in his power and glory. He presseth this from that which common prudence would teach any householder, viz. if he knew in what watch of the night a thief would come, to watch, and not suffer his house to be broken open; that is, in what time of the night, for the Jews divided the night into the first, second, third, and fourth watch, as the Romans divided it for relief of their military guards. Now, saith our Saviour, you, knowing that there will come such a time, and not certainly knowing at what time, stand concerned to be always watching and praying. Therefore be ye also ready,.... Or prepared for the coming of the son of man; which as it is said to be like a thief in the night, expresses the suddenness of it, may excite to watchfulness and readiness; which readiness is to be understood, not of a readiness to do the will and work of God, though this is absolutely necessary; as to watch and pray, to hear the word preached, to confess Christ, and give a reason of the hope that is in us, to communicate to the support of the cause and interest of Christ, and to suffer for his sake; but of a preparedness to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments, when desolating judgments are coming on the earth, such as these in Jerusalem; by faith and trust in the power, providence, and care of God; by humiliation before him, and resignation to his will: and if this can be applied to a readiness for a future state after death; for the second coming of Christ, and last judgment; this lies not in a dependence on the absolute mercy of God; nor in an external humiliation for sin; nor in an abstinence from grosser sins, or in mere negative holiness; nor in any outward, legal, civil, and moral righteousness; nor in a submission to Gospel ordinances; nor in a mere profession of religion; but in being in Christ, having on his righteousness, and being washed in his blood; and also in regeneration and sanctification, in having true knowledge of Christ, and faith in him; for all which it becomes men to be concerned, as also all believers to be actually, as well as habitually ready; being in the lively exercise of grace, and cheerful discharge of duty, though without trusting to either. And such a readiness in either branch of it, is not of themselves, but lies in the grace of God, which gives a meetness for glory; and in the righteousness of Christ, the fine linen, clean and white, which being granted by him, his people are made ready for him: and as for their faith, and the exercise of it, and their constant performance of duty, these are not from the strength of nature and the power of freewill, but from the Spirit of God and his grace; who makes ready a people prepared for the Lord, and all according to the ancient settlements of grace, in which provision is made for the vessels of mercy, afore prepared for glory: though there should be a studious concern in men for such readiness, for nothing is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than when it will be; and after death, no readiness can be had, but he that is then righteous, shall be righteous still, and he that is filthy, shall be filthy still, and a deathbed is by no means to be trusted to; and though a person may not be snatched away suddenly, but may have space given him to repent, yet if grace is not given him, to repent and believe in Christ, he never will; the grave is ready for men, and in a little time all will be brought to this house, appointed for all living, where there is no wisdom, knowledge, and device; and therefore whatever we are directed to do, should be now done, with all that might, and strength, and grace, that is given us; to which may be added, that after death comes judgment; the day is fixed, the judge is appointed, and all must stand before his judgment seat; and nothing is more sure than that Christ will come a second time, to judge both quick and dead; and happy will those be that are ready; they will be received by Christ into everlasting habitations, and be for ever with him: and miserable will those be, who will not be ready, who will not have the oil of grace in their hearts with their lamps, nor the wedding garment on them; they will be shut out, and bid to depart into everlasting burnings: how fit and proper is such an advice and exhortation as this, "be ye also ready". A readiness the Jews report Bath Kol, or the voice from heaven, gave out concerning the Israelites,

"Bath Kol (say (y) they) went out, and said to them, , "ye are all of you ready for the life of the world to come".

And elsewhere it is said of Bath Kol, that it went forth and affirmed of some particular Rabbins, that they were ready for eternal life; as of Ketiah bar Shalom, R. Eleazar ben Durdia, and R. Chanina (z):

for in such an hour as ye think not, the son of man cometh: this is true of his coming in power to destroy Jerusalem, and of his second coming to judgment. The Jews say much the same of the coming of the Messiah, whom they expect:

"there are three things, they say (a), which come, "without knowledge", or unthought of, at an unawares; and they are these, the Messiah, anything that is found, and a scorpion.

(y) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 9. 1.((z) T. Bab Avoda Zara, fol. 10. 2. & 17. 1. & 18. 1. & Callah, fol. 17. 2. & Cetubot, fol. 103. 2.((a) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 1.

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 24:44. Διὰ τοῦτο] in order that, as regards your salvation, your case may not be similar to the householder in question, who ought to have watched, although he did not know the φυλακή of the thief.

καὶ ὑμεῖς] as the householder would have been had he watched.

ἕτοιμοι] spoken of their spiritual readiness for the second advent, which would take them by surprise (Matthew 25:10; Titus 3:1). This preparedness they were to acquire for themselves (γίνεσθε).Matthew 24:44. Ἔρχεται, cometh) The present tense.Verse 44. - Therefore. Regarding the solemn example just given, taking it as applicable to spiritual things. The warning is of general obligation, and may be used by each individual Christian for his own benefit; for there is a sense in which the day of death is the coming of Christ, and as death leaves us so, as far as we know, judgment will find us.
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