Calling God a thief seems more than just a little ridiculous. Yet, Jesus uses the imagery of a thief to talk about the Day of the Lord.
The Day of the Lord is a phrase used to indicate an occasion where/when the earthly way of things (the status quo) will be shaken. There are two primary uses of this phrase. The first is the impending consequences of unfaithful behavior by the Israelites. The second is when God restores Israel by throwing down those that oppressed them.
The comparison between the dramatic Day of the Lord the Jews were expecting at the time of Jesus and the thief in the night is not incidental. In many respects, the impending Day of the Lord was Good Friday, followed by Easter, followed by Pentecost.
To Christians, we don’t view these as “thief in the night” moments. General history, however, only finds them important due to Christianity. The death of Jesus was just another day of Roman “justice” and fearmongering. The Resurrection was only witnessed by a few.
Pentecost, by far, was the biggest event (people-wise) of the three, and yet it was relatively insignificant to an Empire, and only “another” sect to deal with for the Jews. Yes, this sect became troublesome for the Jews and the Romans, but it didn’t start that way.
1) In the US, we often look to elections or wars as “the Day of the Lord”. What other events come to mind?
3) Why do you think Paul uses dark and sleep to talk about “the thief” (think beyond the obvious)?
Father, as we wait for your Son’s return, let your Holy Spirit burn inside of us, and keep the light of your love and glory shining, that we are ready for such a time as that. Amen.