Text: Luke 12: 35-48
35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
36 “and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
37 “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
38 “And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
40 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
43 “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
44 “Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
45 “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,
46 “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
A. Jesus has judged the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees. He has encouraged His disciples in the face of coming persecution, and He has promoted generosity over covetousness and greed.
B. Jesus knew that because of the kingdom sinners need to repent, believers need to persevere through trials, and believers also need to point others to Christ.
A. In Bible times, people wore tunics which basically was a long shirt that extended all the way from neck to ankles.
B. To make movement easier, people would fold the bottom of their tunics up to their waist and then hold the folded fabric in place with a belt.
C. While the practices of girding waists and using lamps for light is antiquated the message is still clear - Be ready.
A. The servants are to protect the estate and also to let the master back in when he gets home which might not be until the second or third watch of the night (sometime between 10 pm and 6 am).
C. These servants needed to be ready with their lamps already lit up in order to let their master in as soon as he got home.
D. Verse 37 contains the promise of a reward - Despite the late hour the master will gird himself, he will have his servants sit down to eat, and he will serve them.
E. The master who is gone for a while is Jesus. The servants who are waiting and watching for their master’s return are Christ’s followers and upon His arrival Jesus will be so pleased with His followers that He will actually serve us with what Revelation 19 later calls the marriage supper of the Lamb.
F. Watch and be ready for Jesus because we don’t know exactly when Jesus is coming back. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Matthew 24: 36
2 Peter 3:10-14,
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
A. Jesus is like a thief because He will come at a time that you don’t expect.
B. Many failed predictions includes Jehovah’s Witnesses (1914); various preditions during World War II; Edgar Whisenant's books predicting 1988, 1989, 1993, and 1994; Harold Camping reported predicted May 21, 2011 and when Jesus didn’t come back on May 21st Camping changed his mind to October 21st.
C. When Jesus said no one knows He meant it and when anyone tries to figure out when Jesus is coming, they’ve wandered off the right path.
A. This master has so many servants that he has to elevate one servant above the rest.
1. Head servant (which is also called a steward) is in charge of making sure the other servants get their jobs done and making sure the other servants are taken care of and well compensated for their service to the master.
2. Might help to think of the master as the owner, the steward or head servant as the manager, and the other servants as employees.
B. In this parable, Jesus is the master or the owner. His followers are the servants or the employees.
C. Jesus describes three managers and says whether they do a good job or a bad job and what will happen to them when He as the master or owner comes back.
1. “Faithful and wise steward.” Luke 12:42-44.
a. treated the other employees well by giving “them their portion of food in due season.”
b. From the perspective of God’s Kingdom, this means you will faithfully and wisely seek to be a reflection of Christ in all that you say and do. And although you are still a sinner saved by grace alone your life demonstrates genuine faith.
c. Those who faithfully live their lives in service to Christ can look forward to reigning with Him over nature as God intended it and all its wonders in the new heaven and new earth. (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25)
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
2. Wicked head servant - Luke 12:45-47.
a. That head servant thinks that Jesus the master is delaying His coming or might think that Jesus is never coming back at all. Instead of taking care of other fellow servants this manager beats them down, and satisfies his own wants.
b. His master Jesus Christ will return on a day and at an hour that he does not expect. The wicked manager will be beaten ( Deuteronomy 25:1-3) and he will be cut in half.
(1) The Bible pictures destruction as being cut in half (cutting of covenants) Genesis 15 shows both the seriousness and unbreakability of God’s covenant promises, but that passage along with Jeremiah 34:18-19 also shows that cutting in half is a symbol for complete destruction.
(2) The cutting in two here is also symbolic of the death of the body as well as the assignment of the soul to be with unbelievers to hell.
c. The hypocritical religious leaders of today along with others who know the truth of the gospel and yet reject it all have a similarly terrible fate.
3. Manager who just “did not know.” - Luke 12:48.
a. Ignorant, but “yet committed things deserving of stripes.”
b. Will be beaten with just a few blows compared to the previous one.
c. Degrees of punishment in hell.
(1) Deuteronomy 32:22 speaks of a “lowest hell.”
(2) 2 Peter 2: 4 uses a unique Greek word for hell (tartarus) which literally means “lowest hell” and that verse says that this lowest hell is specifically reserved for the “angels who sinned.”
(3) The demons are going to be punished worse than everyone else because they had a higher degree of responsibility and thus a higher degree of culpability. And so it will be that those who sin while knowing better will be punished more severely than those who sin in relative ignorance. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48
This passage isn’t just about the return of Jesus it’s also about the eternal state. Where will you go? Jesus Christ offers you forgiveness of sins, salvation from hell, and the hope of eternal life in the new heaven and new earth. All you have to do to receive this free gift of grace is repent and trust in Him.
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Do you feel an emptiness in your life? Are you seeking answers but don't know where to look? Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Please read the summary of the gospel message, "Four Things You Need to Know About God"