In Jesus’ teaching, it is not evil, heresy, sin, or Satan that is the greatest threat to the believer. It is sleep. To be asleep is to be oblivious to being oblivious. The danger of sleep is the danger of carbon monoxide: it’s colorless, odorless, and you’re anesthetized before you know it—before you ever hit the floor. And this is why sleep (spiritual unreceptivity) received the sternest and most repeated warnings from Jesus: “And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake” (Mark 13:37). In this age of waiting for Christ and his Kingdom, we are the disciples in Gethsemane, trying desperately to keep our eyes open to the realities of faith. And to this purpose, Scripture continuously pokes us to “stay awake” (Rev. 16:15) and “prepared” (Luke 1:17), always “watchful“ (Col. 4:2), “alert” (1Pet. 5:8), and “on guard” (Mark 13:33).
Watch is a study in the “Stay awake,” “Be alert” passages of the New Testament; an exploration of how to remain watchful and wakeful, and the reasons why. Running through the gospels and epistles is a clear, consistent theology of wakefulness—biblical truths and teachings given by God to create in us, and sustain in us, spiritual alertness—and Watch is utterly unique in its focus and synthesis of this crucial teaching.