Back in the days before every boy and girl had a Smartphone, kids used to wear watches. Watches with the logos of NFL teams were especially popular with young boys. One Christmas, a boy who was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan became obsessed with getting a certain Steelers watch as a present. He’d seen the watch in a sports store at the local mall.
Day after day leading up to Christmas, the young fellow wore his parents out with his request. A day didn’t pass without him at some point reminding them, “I want that Steelers watch at the mall for Christmas.” He even talked them into making a special trip to the mall just so he could show them exactly which watch he wanted. The parents, in true parent mode, never tipped their hand that they were actually going to buy the watch, and their silence caused the boy no end of worry.
Finally, the morning of Christmas Eve arrived and the boy could find no watch-sized package under the tree. (He didn’t know that his mother had wrapped the watch in an oversized box to fool him.) So, at breakfast that morning the boy decided that he had to pull out all the stops if he was going get his watch. As the family was enjoying their meal, the little fellow said, “Since Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus, I thought it would be nice this morning if I quoted something from Him.”
After almost passing out from shock, the father and mother finally stammered out the words, “Sure, son, go right ahead.” The boy then stood up from the table and said, “These words come from Mark 13:37. Jesus says to His disciples, ‘And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!‘”
This cute little story reminds us that the same Jesus who was laid in a manger on that night so long ago has promised to return to walk this earth again. You see, Mark 13:37 serves as the closing verse to a prophetic chapter in which Jesus talks about His eventual Second Coming. For example, in Mark 13:26, He says, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.” A few verses later, though, in Mark 13:32, He is quick to point out, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” So, since no one knows the day and hour when Jesus will return to the earth, His people should always be on “watch duty” for that return.
Okay, got it. But how do we remain on “watch duty” during the Christmas holiday? We do it by understanding that the babe in the manger grew into adulthood, began His public ministry at the age of 30, performed miracles to prove His divinity, gave profound teachings to enlighten mankind’s way, never committed one sin, died on a cross as the sinless sacrifice for the sins of the human race, arose from the dead, ascended back to heaven, currently offers salvation to anyone who will place saving belief in Him, and has promised to one day return. We don’t hear much about that Jesus at Christmastime, do we? And yet the babe in the manger and the returning King are one and the same. So tell me, are you watching?