“It’s like a man going away. He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch”.
Mk 13:34 NIV
We often quote the saying, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”. Obviously Jesus had not heard this saying as he several times used parables in which a master goes away and entrusts stewardship to his servants. Many employers have found serious problems arising when they have gone away and left another person in charge.
The picture Jesus painted here was of the master going away and giving each servant his own assigned task before leaving. None of them knows just when he would return – only that he would. That was certain. So one of the servants is appointed as the doorkeeper-cum-watchdog. All the time the master is away there is the possibility that he might suddenly appear.
“Jesus draws one practical conclusion. We are like men who know that their master will come, but who do not know when. We live in the shadow of eternity. That is no reason for fearful and hysterical expectation. But it does mean that day by day our work must be completed and done. It does mean that we must so live that it does not matter when he comes. It gives us the great task in life of making every day fit for him to see and being at any moment ready to meet him face to face. All life becomes a preparation to meet the King” (W. Barclay, The Gospel of Mark, p337).
Whether you are worthy to be left, as Jesus implies, is a question you might ask yourself. But be aware that you are answerable to him and will have to give account.
Lord, keep me ever faithful to you.