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Matthew 24:42 & meaning...


therefore, for you don’t know in what hour your Lord comes.

Matthew 24:42


Matthew 24 [37.] “As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. Watch therefore, for you don’t know in what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.


  • The Call to Watchfulness:

Watch Therefore: The opening phrase, "Watch therefore," serves as a rallying call to vigilance and attentiveness. It implies a state of readiness, with believers actively observing the signs of the times and staying spiritually alert.

Constant Awareness: The use of "therefore" connects this exhortation to the preceding verses in Matthew 24, where Jesus discusses the signs of his coming and the tribulations that will precede it. The urgency to watch is a response to the uncertainties and challenges outlined in those verses.

  • Uncertainty of the Hour:

You Don't Know in What Hour: The sobering reality presented in the latter part of the verse emphasizes the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the Lord's return. Believers are reminded that the exact hour of this momentous event remains undisclosed, heightening the need for continual preparedness.

Imminent Return: The language used by Jesus implies the imminent nature of his return. By not specifying a particular timeframe, he emphasizes the need for perpetual readiness, compelling believers to live with a sense of expectancy.

  • Significance of Watchfulness:

Spiritual Alertness: The call to watch serves as a reminder of the spiritual dimension of readiness. It goes beyond a mere intellectual acknowledgment of Christ's return and calls for an active and vigilant posture in one's faith journey.

Preparedness in Action: Watching, in this context, involves living in a way that reflects the anticipation of Christ's return. It prompts believers to align their lives with the teachings of Jesus, cultivating a readiness that permeates every aspect of their existence.

Practical Application:

Living with Purpose: Matthew 24:42 challenges believers to live with a sense of purpose and intentionality. The awareness of Christ's imminent return should shape our priorities, decisions, and actions, leading to a life that honors and glorifies Him.

Staying Grounded in Faith: The uncertainty of the hour calls for a steadfast and unwavering faith. Believers are encouraged to stay grounded in their relationship with Christ, relying on His promises and teachings as a source of strength and guidance.


Matthew 25:13: "Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." This parallel passage reinforces the theme of watchfulness and underscores the unpredictability of the timing of Christ's return.

Mark 13:35-37: "Watch therefore, for you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he might find you sleeping." This parallel passage from Mark adds further details to the importance of watchfulness, highlighting the need to be alert at all times.

In conclusion, Matthew 24:42 resonates as a poignant reminder of the need for watchfulness and readiness in the face of the uncertain timing of Christ's return. It challenges believers to live with spiritual alertness, purpose, and an unwavering faith, knowing that their Lord may come at an hour they least expect. As we heed this call to watch, may we navigate our faith journey with diligence, anticipating the glorious return of our Lord.

See also: vs 43-44

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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