In Jesus’ teaching, it is not evil, heresy, sin, or Satan which is the greatest threat to the believer: it is sleep. To be asleep is to be oblivious. Oblivious, unaware, unconscious. The danger of sleep is like the danger of carbon monoxide: it’s colourless, odourless and you’re out cold before you know it, even before you hit the floor. This is why sleep (being spiritually unresponsive) received the sternest warnings from Jesus: “what I say to you, I say to all: Stay awake” (Mark 13:37).
In this age of waiting for the Kingdom, we are like the disciples in Gethsemane, trying desperately to keep our eyes open to the realities of faith. To this end, scripture urges us to stay awake (Rev 16:15), prepared (Luke 1:17), always watchful (Col 4:2), and alert (1 Peter 5:8). Watch is a study in the Stay awake, Be alert passages of the New Testament. It explores how and why to remain watchful and alert. Running through the Gospels and epistles is a clear, consistent theology of wakefulness, this Biblical truth given to us by God to create and sustain in us the practice of spiritual alertness. Watch is utterly unique in its focus and synthesis of this crucial teaching.