“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
Several times Jesus Christ compared His coming to a secretive “thief” (Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39-40). Obviously He would never steal anything (He owns everything anyway!), so He was making the point that He will come when we don’t expect. “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).
Jesus encourages us to watch world events and ourselves to make sure we are always ready. Clothing is used as a symbol of our behavior. For example, the Bride of Christ was “granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:8).
Christ used nakedness as a symbol of unrighteousness and not being prepared. He counseled the Church of God in Laodicea to buy from Him “white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed” (Revelation 3:18).
For more about watching for Jesus Christ’s return and how we are to respond to prophecy, see our article on “End-Time Prophecy.”