What are some possible explanations or correlations from scripture about the goodman who should not have let the thief break in?

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. - Matthew 24:43

This short parable is in between verses speaking about waiting and watching for Jesus return.

  • A very recent interpretation that I never read before says that is about Christ himself plundering the devil after tying him up. I might post an answer should I find the article. – user13992 Dec 3 '14 at 6:48

It's generally interpreted as a warning about the unexpected suddeness of the Lord's return. Just as you cannot know when you might be robbed, you also cannot know when the Second Coming will occur. Compare 1 Thessalonians 5 for a parallel warning by Paul. We can note that Paul compares "the Day of the Lord" (and not Jesus Himself) to the thief in the night.

Additional insight is also provided by Matthew 7:24-27, another parable about a house destroyed due to the owner's unreadiness. If we take the house as the soul, the warning is that not having your "house in order" is to undergo a great risk. We also have John 10:8-10, where Jesus contrasts Himself with a "thief", who, in context, can be understood as a false prophet or teacher --and perhaps even as the Adversary (the devil).

In summary, the theme seems to be that the "Day of the Lord" will not be without dangers for the unprepared soul. I think we can take those dangers, spiritual and otherwise, as being the "thief" that one must prepare against.

  • But why use the example of a thief and someone defending against them? We obviously are not to anticipate Jesus return so we can block him out... – Xeoncross Dec 2 '14 at 22:08
  • @Xeoncross I've edited to elaborate. – Chris Sunami Dec 2 '14 at 22:18

To understand the meaning, all one need do is read the next verse in Matthew:

Therefore you must be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. [Matthew 24:44]

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