It’s hard to miss the repetition Jesus uses here when he talks about the last days.
Three times, he says, “Be on your guard!”
All three times, it’s different things we are to be on our guard about.
The first time, Jesus warns us to be on our guard because persecution will come (9-13). The time will come when we will be hated even by those closest to us because we love Jesus. There will be times we will be punished by those in power for proclaiming Jesus. You already see this in countries like China. But you also see it in the States as well: people punished for standing up for what scripture clearly teaches in terms of right and wrong.
Jesus then warns a second time: “Be on your guard (23)”. Why? Because false messiahs, false prophets, and false teachers will come to deceive, even performing miraculous signs. Do you test the teachings you hear from your pastor, from pastors on the internet, and famous Christian authors? Hopefully, those you listen to are spiritually solid, but if you are not on our guard, you may be deceived.
Jesus warns a final time: “Be on your guard (33).” Why? Because Jesus will come back some day and he will hold you accountable for how are you living. When Jesus comes back, will he be able to say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”
How about you? Are you on your guard?