Watching Versus Waiting
There is a difference between waiting and watching. Waiting is to remain or rest in expectation or to be in readiness. Watching is to look and wait expectantly or in anticipation. To wait can be done while doing something else. To watch requires full attention from the watcher. In waiting, we can miss what or whom we are waiting for; not in watching. This story illustrates the difference.
A girl once asked her grandmother to watch for her the day she came to visit. Grandmother promised she would. This petition was repeated several times, and several times the grandmother promised she would watch for her granddaughter. The day the granddaughter would arrive Grandmother thought she had time to do a few chores before her granddaughter showed up. She thought that just before they arrived she would go outside the door. Grandmother got busy and lost track of time, and her granddaughter showed up while she was still inside. She heard the bell, ran to the door, and with excitement opened it up to greet her granddaughter. But, her granddaughter was very sad. Grandmother asked why the sad semblance. Granddaughter answered, “Grandma, you did not watch for me like I asked you.” “Honey, I was preparing things for you, while I waited for you,” answered Grandma. Granddaughter replied, “Grandma I did not want you to wait for me, I wanted you to watch for me.” Granddaughter wanted Grandma to be outside expectantly looking for her.
(Bear with me as I develop the point I am trying to make.) In Christ, and through His death, resurrection and ascension, God permanently united the world to Himself. But, only those who believe this will benefit from this fact. Only those who put their faith in His sacrificial death will benefit from this truth. This is a truth that is evident in Hebrews 9:28. Let us read,
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
In the Bible the many refers to the world. Christ was offered to bear the Sin the world. As it is says in 1 John 2: 2
1 John 2:2 And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world
When He died He paid for the World’s penalty of Sin, in other words He paid the wages of Sin that that mankind owed (Roman 6:23). With His resurrection and ascension His death guarantees that death is not our final destination in this life. But, it does not guarantee that eternal life is our final destination. This is guaranteed only to those, who as said above, put their faith in His sacrificial death that will benefit from this truth. This is also evident in Hebrews 9:28.
There are two clauses on this verse, separated by a punctuation mark (A semi-colon in the KJV). The punctuation mark makes a distinction between the two groups: the many and the few who look up. The first statement talks about what Christ did for the many on the cross. The second clause stated that although all men are saved from the penalty of Sin only to “them that look for Him shall He appear.” These are those who are looking up. It is those who believe He will return a “second time without sin unto salvation.” These are those who put their faith in His sacrificial death. These are the ones watching for Jesus. Are we waiting for Jesus or are we watching for Him?