Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)
42 �So you, too, must keep watch! For you don�t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

Jesus is preparing His disciples by reminding them to not only to believe �that our Lord will come, but to desire that He would come, to be often thinking of His coming, and always looking for it as sure and near, and the time of it uncertain. To watch for Christ�s coming, is to maintain that gracious temper and disposition of mind which we should be willing that our Lord, when he comes, should find us in. To watch is to be aware of the first notices of his approach, that we may immediately attend his motions, and address ourselves to the duty of meeting him. Watching is supposed to be in the night, which is sleeping time; while we are in this world, it is night with us, and we must take pains to keep ourselves awake.� [Matthew Henry]



In the verses above Jesus uses an illustration, �If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.� I believe most people want to protect their property and ensure the safety of their home and family. It seems contrary the words of Jesus in Luke 6:29 where He says, �If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.� In our Christian lives we should stop and think about our actions. A strike to the cheek was meant as an insult. If a person insults us try to resolve the situation peacefully, even allowing them to insult us again if need be. In the case of someone demanding our coat for warmth, go an extra step and see how you might be able to help keep them. Our first thoughts should always be towards love, grace and mercy as The Lord himself has shown us and not revenge. However, there is a difference in giving up personal revenge and confronting evil in self-defense. There are times when we might find it necessary to defend ourselves in all manners.

In Genesis we see Abraham defending his relatives by pursuing those who took his relatives captive. It should be noted that this action wasn't for revenge but only to secure the safe release of his family and the return of his property. So obviously God allows us to protect our families and relatives and their property. Genesis 14:14-16, "When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer�s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer�s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.�

You see Jesus knew during His time people were taking the law into their own hands instead of allowing administrators to administer justice. We should never believe we have the right to exact revenge upon others, but we do have the right to protect our home and family when those occasions arise.