In the ancient near East, if you heard the phrase “mud-digger,” it did not mean a souped-up pickup or jeep with monster tires for going muddin’. ‘Mud-digger’ meant: common thief, or criminal, or low-life.
Most people built their little houses out of mud bricks. In the hot summer, you usually slept in a tent on the roof. In the dark of night, a thief could dig through the mud wall of your home while you slept above. Then the mud-digger would make off with your valuables. In the morning, you would wake up and go down inside to make breakfast—only to discover that the low-life mud-digger had stolen your pots!
Ticked! Ticked off! If only I had known, I would have waited up for him. I would have crouched in the shadows in the house. When the mud-digger came crawling in, ready to grab my stuff, I would have thwapped that punk! Thwapped him cold and took him to the magistrate!
So, with His little parable, the Lord Jesus appealed to sentiments like these. If the master had known at what hour of night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake. Darn right I would have! Rather than have some mud-digger make off with my lamps and blankets and camel harness. Daggone right I would have stayed awake! Then I would still have my wine and my figs.