Troublesome Topic: Example #4 The Arrival of a Burglar

Matthew 24:43


And know this, if the master of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief

Go to footnote number

comes, he would have kept watch and not allowed his house to be broken into.


There are things that we cannot know the timing of, such as when a thief will break into our house. If we could know the timing, we would be able to prevent it.

If You Knew When the Thief Would Come

When I was young, my parents were missionaries in Honduras for quite a few years and in Nicaragua for four years. One night our house in Nicaragua was broken into while we were sleeping in it. The burglars (we assumed it was more than one) had gone first to the bathroom and grabbed armfuls of towels. They rolled up the towels and put one on the floor by the door each time they opened a door, that way the door would not close on its own and make noise. In the morning we could see everywhere they had been by following the trail of towels. I saw that they had walked right by my bed. They took several things, but it was obvious that they had prepared to take even more things because they had left a pile of things by the door. Apparently, someone must have made noise; it is likely that my baby brother started to cry, so they got out quickly.

Dad suspected that they would be back to get more things. He knew that a good dog would have prevented the burglary, but he wanted time to train a dog properly. So he hired a night watchman and told him to hide in the shadows behind the house. Sure enough, a few nights later some men started climbing over our wall into the back yard. The night watchman fired his pistol at them, and they went back over the wall with great haste. Not long after that, we got a German Shepherd.

Matthew 24:44


Because of this you also must be prepared

for the SON OF MAN

comes in that hour when you do not expect it.


Likewise, you must be spiritually alert and open minded about the way I work or you will miss what I do;

for I, GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S PROBLEM, will show up on the scene when you least expect it.

“When You Least Expect It”

I believe there was more in view here than just the timing of His glorious arrival, rather pertained to the manner in which He will show His power. The disciples had asked a “when” question, so Jesus’ answer is couched in the context of “when,” but the reason for His answer has to do with other things, not just timing. All along the disciples were waiting for Jesus to do things they expected the Messiah would do, and all along Jesus did things in ways they were not expecting. By this statement He was signaling to them that He would continue to work in ways that would surprise them, that is why they needed to be watchful. By saying “be watchful” he meant “Keep an open mind and watch for me to do things in ways you would not ordinarily have expected.”

The next lesson is: Example #5 The Return of the Owner of the Estate


1: “Thief”

We get our word “kleptomaniac” from this Greek word.