For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Are we waiting for Christ’s return, I mean really waiting?
The Greek word for “waiting” in verse 13 is προσδέχομαι (prosdechomai). This word is most often used with as sense of eager expectation. Jesus used this word in Luke 12:36-37 when he described his return in a parable. “And be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.”
In Titus 2:13, the King James Version translates prosdechomai as “Looking.” Looking is active, not passive. Looking, searching, seeking, anticipating, waiting. Jesus makes the point several times about how blessing will come to those who are awake when the master returns.
Sure we think it’s wonderful that Jesus is coming back for us. But, are we eagerly expecting his return, are we looking for him, or are we just simply living our lives, striving for the American dream until he comes back?
Living at ease until Christ returns is NOT what prosdechomai is about. An eager expectation is about being so anxious for his return that the “training grace” of God transforms us from ungodliness and cleanses us from worldly passions to live lives of righteousness and discipline, being zealous to do good works. You cannot expect to be a recipient of saving grace without also being a student learning under “training grace.” Eagerly expecting Christ’s return focuses us on the future Kingdom, not temporary pleasures. That certainty about Christ’s promised return enables us to live with constancy in the present.
If we are eagerly expecting his return, our lives will demonstrate it. Not just with holy living, but also with good works.