And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.Luke 12:39-48
I think this section is priceless. It is very typical of the wisdom of Jesus. Another masterful stroke by the Master. Back at ya, guys. Remember we have the disciples here, to whom He’s been speaking directly, then we also have a crowd which clearly includes the Pharisees and the experts in the Law. Peter asks Him the question: “Who is this parable for? Us disciples or everyone here?”
Jesus said, “You choose. Who do you think? You decide if it fits you or not.
Notice there are two parts. Could it be that these two parts accord with the two parables?
There are two parables :–
- the coming Master
- the coming thief.
There are two responses :–
- that of the faithful sensible steward
- that of the unfaithful, unbeliever.
There are two groups of listeners :–
- the 12 disciples and other disciples
- Pharisees and teachers of Law.
Is it coming clear now? All these segments and players match up. Jesus is a master at getting the most out of the situation. He masterfully leaves them to make the decision as to where they fit. He skillfully gives them two parables depicting good servants and bad servants. Faithful sensible stewards and unfaithful, unbelieving thieves. Then He leaves Peter and the disciples to choose which camp they fit into. By virtue of the fact that He has told 2 parables He has left them all with a choice as to where they fit. The Pharisees and others as well. Of course that also includes us who are looking on and eavesdropping 2 millennia later. We must all identify which side of the great divide we fall.
The inference is for anyone who acts like the servants in the first parable, they are the faithful, sensible stewards of all that God has given them. Jesus uses the words [pistos] which means trustworthy, faithful dependable and [phronimos] which means sensible, thoughtful, prudent or wise. The stewards had free choice and authority to carry out their responsibility. The task of caring for the household and carrying out their duty. The duty of the head stewards was to also ensure the well being of the other stewards – the faithful. Hence they were to apportion the food allowance for the other servants. I.e. Look after the flock, look after the household. Be good leaders. Sound familiar?
On the other hand we have the servants who eat, drink and get drunk. Now where have I heard that before. Sound familiar? You bet it is. Those living without any healthy expectation of His appearing. Those who neglect the very duty they have been given by the Master. They beat the fellow servants and ill-treat them when they were supposed to protect the household, the flock. Now who might that be? The slave who knew the master’s will and didn’t get ready and do it will receive the harsher punishment. The slave who didn’t know it but committed acts worthy of punishment will receive only a few lashes. All of these are described as unfaithful and unbelievers. As a summation of all of this Jesus adds, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
I think it is kind of clear, don’t you? Now all that is left for us to do is weigh up our own response in the light of the two parables and the comments Jesus makes to elaborate on them.
- Where do I fit in the light of Jesus statement?
- Am I a trustworthy, faithful and dependable servant? Sensible thoughtful prudent and wise?
- Seeking to do the Master’s bidding? Prepared and ready for His Coming?
- Caring for the rest of the household and faithful to my calling?
- Or am I unfaithful and unbelieving?
- By inference, untrustworthy, unfaithful, undependable, unthoughtful, lacking prudence and wisdom?
- Unconcerned about the Master’s calling and ill prepared for His Coming?
- Caring less about others in the body of Christ and indeed unfaithful to my calling?
Time for some introspection people.
Every time your faith is put on trial, your character is placed on the witness stand.AR Bernard
Hypocrisy is choosing to be moral ONLY in issues that DON’T challenge my desires, my plans or my lifestyle.Rick Warren
He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.Augustine
You’ll never learn from a mistake that you can’t admit.Ian Vail