Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.


Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Matthew 24:36-44

Hypervigilance is a burden that far too many people carry through their lives. It is most often born in trauma. Whether from growing up in an abusive home or living with the memories of service in a war zone, those who suffer from hypervigilance are constantly scanning their surroundings, taking the emotional temperature of their environment, always waiting for the shoe to fall. It is an exhausting way to live. It disconnects and damages relationships.

Is this the life that Jesus envisions for us? Always worried that the thief is going to come and get us or that the Son of Man will show up at the airport while we’re waiting for our ship to come in?

Hypervigilance is born in fear. It is an acquired trait, a learned response. And it is powerful in the way that fear is always powerful. Especially in the lies that fear tells us which rob us of our confidence, leaving us feeling powerless in the face of threats that could very well be nothing more than figments of our imagination.

Is that what Jesus is doing to us with this text? With his warning to be “ready” is Jesus inviting us into lives of fear? Is he trying to scare us into the kingdom?

Unfortunately, far too many of us who sincerely believe we are serving Jesus’ cause are guilty of using fear to motivate compliance. We might think we are preaching the Gospel when in fact all we are doing is treating Jesus like a scary bogeyman out to get the stubborn, to flush the “lost” once and for all. No good comes of that. I know. I’ve been on the receiving end of such proclamation.

I rest instead in the mystery that no one knows where life is ultimately taking us but we do know that the hands in which we will ultimately end up have nail scars at the wrist.

What helps people who suffer from hypervigilance is community and love. Patient, caring, conversation. Time in the community of a group of people who are all suffering from the same thing. Trust eventually swallowing up fear. Little steps in the right direction with occasional relapses.

That sounds to me like the church.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we trust our lives to you. We trust you in the face of anything and everything that would drive us into fear. We trust that you come into our lives through people who stand with us and for us. We trust that you won’t leave anyone behind. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


5 Responses to “Matthew 24:36-44”

  1. kirk921 Says:

    very good devotion, A Men

  2. cjh145 Says:

    I love this quote: I rest instead in the mystery that no one knows where life is ultimately taking us but we do know that the hands in which we will ultimately end up have nail scars at the wrist.

  3. Carolee Groux Says:

    Having had breast cancer some years ago, I can relate to the feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. However I don’t let hyper-vigilance get in the way of my daily living. Some how my conscious files those thoughts away in the sub-conscious. I am vigilant in respect to getting my annual mammograms, but I don’t fret. I rely on my church community, God, and family for love and support. I keep moving, one step in front of the next.

  4. Steve Finnell Says:


    The assumption of the Virgin Mary is a tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

    THE ASSUMPTION: That when the Virgin Mary died, her body was not subjected to physical decay but was reunited in heaven with her soul.

    An assumption is something taken for granted. An assumption is a supposition or a theory. Why would anyone want to base their religious doctrine on a man-made assumption?

    The assumption of Mary is contrary to Biblical fact.
    1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

    No man, woman nor child can enter heaven with a flesh and blood body.

    1 Corinthians 15:51-55….we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality…..

    The dead in Christ will be resurrected from the dead with animperishable body. The dead in Christ will not be resurrected with a body of flesh and blood. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    If the Virgin Mary is in heaven with a body of flesh and blood, then she is the only one in heaven with a body that is perishable.

    The doctrine of the assumption of the Virgin Mary is in line with Roman Catholic tradition, however, it is contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible.

    If denominational doctrine is contrary to the Scriptures, then, it isnot Divine tradition.

    Doctrine contrary to Scripture is man-made tradition.

    Mark 7:1-9…7 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men.’ 8 Neglecting the commandments of God, you hold to the traditions of men.”……….

    Jesus did not criticize the scribes and Pharisees for keeping God’s laws to the letter, He rebuke them for keeping their man-made traditions.

    (All Scripture from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)


  5. Katie Andraski Says:

    Thank you for this honest take on this scripture. i was raised as a fundamentalist and only just now am I coming to realize how riddled with fear I am. A good amount of the fear stems from the preaching I listened to as a little kid. I am very hyper vigilant and was diagnosed as beyond threshold PTSD. I only just now have started to see it. Thank you for questioning whether Jesus was calling us to fear and how such verses could produce that result. Thank you for calling us to community which brings us to trust. Thank you for reminding us that he takes us by the hand, those nail scarred wrists…

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