Luke 12:35-59-Jesus tells the disciples that they should live their lives in readiness (i.e.-daily practicing the things He is teaching them). He now tells three stories in a row to illustrate the importance of living in readiness. Each successive story involves: 1.-more awareness of personal responsibility; 2.-an increased level of responsibility; 3.-more emphasis on the critical nature of being continuously ready; and 4.-greater reward or punishment. Perhaps this is the answer to Peter’s question (:41). Jesus was speaking to the disciples and to the rest of the people, as well. Everyone is responsible for what has been revealed to them and will be held accountable to faithfully fulfill the Master’s will until the day He returns. But, ignorance of His will not be an acceptable excuse for disobedience. While the punishment will not be as intense, there will be punishment, none-the-less.
Luke 12:35-38-To illustrate this truth He first uses a story of a master who has left his household while he attends a wedding feast. His servants do not know when he will return…so, they have to be ready for his return all of the time, continuously. The “second watch” was from 9:00pm until midnight. Notice key words that He uses to emphasize this attitude: verse 35-“dressed in readiness, lamps alight,” verse 36-"waiting, immediately", verse 37-"alert", verse 40-"ready", verse 43-"doing so".
Luke 12:39-He illustrates this same truth again, telling of a thief robbing a home. You never know what time a thief will come, so you have to be prepared all of the time. While being asleep when the master returns would be bad…allowing the house to be robbed because of apathy would be much worse.
Luke 12:40-41-Jesus then says that they need to be ready (as He had illustrated in these two stories)…because they will not know when He will return. Peter is confused and asks if Jesus is directing His teaching just to the disciples, or to people in general.
Luke 12:42-Jesus uses a third story to illustrate what He is teaching. This story is about a servant who has been put in charge of the rest of the servants. When the master returns, if the servant is found to have been faithfully carrying out his duties, he will be blessed by being put in charge of the entire household. However, if it is discovered that the servant had begun to take advantage of the master’s absence, had failed to fulfill his responsibilities, and abuses his privileges, then when the master returns he will be severely punished. The more aware that a man is of his responsibility, the more accountable he will be held to fulfill it.
Luke 12:49-53-By “fire”, Jesus is speaking of judgment. The “baptism” that He speaks of is His death. Jesus tells the disciples that He will be the cause of division among people, even families.
Luke 12:54-59-Jesus tells them that they pay such close attention to the signs that reveal the conditions of the weather, and yet they don’t pay attention to the more important things…the signs that reveal to them the condition of their lives. They need to pay attention to these signs...because one day they will have to give an account for their lives...and nothing will be left out. Jesus also says that they are smart enough to try and settle a dispute with a neighbor before it reaches the point that it goes to court. They know that once it goes to court, it is out of their hands and they have to accept the decision of the judge. In a similar manner, they should correct their lives now…before they stand before God, the eternal judge. Once it is in His hands…they will have no more opportunity to make changes. They will have to make a payment for every wrong deed they have ever committed in their life…down to “the very last cent”.
Prayer: Lord, help me to live as if You were coming back today. What would I do different?