Morning Bible Study
Starting Thursday night June 2, we will be running a 13 week series on
“worldview” known as the “Truth Project”.
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
Jesus has not only been talking about finances and the dangers of greed,
but He’s also hinted that there is a day of judgment ahead. When he told the parable about the man who
was trying to build bigger barns to store up his wealth, there was a point in
the story where …
(Luke 12:20 NKJV) But God said
to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will
those things be which you have provided?’
Jesus now returns to that idea of our accountability before God.
12:35-48 Ready or Not
:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
:35 Let your waist be girded
People wore long robes with a belt or rope around the waist. When you need to get moving, you would gather
up the bottom of your robe and tuck it into your belt, this was called “girding
the loins”, and it speaks about getting ready for action.
Peter unpacks what being spiritually “girded” looks like:
(1 Peter 1:13–15
NKJV) —13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your
hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of
Jesus Christ; 14
obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in
your ignorance; 15
as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your
You can’t run this race called life very well if you keep getting tripped
up in your lusts and disobedience.
:35 and your lamps burning
We are living in a dark world, and you never know when you are going to be
required to take action in this dark world.
To take action in a dark world requires light.
In ancient days, the light you had available at night would be an oil lamp,
that needed to be filled with oil and kept burning.
Your “light” is Jesus working through you.
It’s not just the things you say about Jesus, but the things you do for
5:14–16 NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill
cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a
lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven.
: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
:36 when he will return from the wedding
Jewish weddings were usually held at night, and it was something of a game
as to when the wedding would take place.
The groom would show up unannounced at the bride’s house and take her home
with him to his father’s house.
The bride’s wedding party needed to be ready at any moment to follow the
wedding procession if they wanted to be in on the wedding.
Jesus told a story about ten wedding maids waiting for the groom to arrive
(Mat. 25) at the bride’s house. When the
announcement came that the groom was on his way, five of them weren’t ready
because they had let their lamps go out, and they missed the wedding.
Here, Jesus is describing a wedding where the groom has gone to get his
bride, and has now come back to his father’s house.
Will the servants back at home be ready to let the groom and his new bride
in the door?
Jesus had a message to the church of Laodicea:
NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and
opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
: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.
:37 will come and serve them
He will serve us
At a Jewish wedding, the groom and his bride are treated like a king and
queen. Yet in this picture, Jesus goes
against type and He as the groom will be serving those who are faithful, those
who were ready, those who were waiting.
I find this absolutely mind blowing.
I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept that He would be
I think of that scene at the Last Supper when Jesus does what a servant
should have done, and begins to wash His disciples’ feet. (John 13)
Peter can’t imagine Jesus serving him.
Even though He has the “name above every name”, He will serve us.
NKJV) —25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that
the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise
authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become
great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the
Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many.”
If Jesus places such value in being a servant towards others, shouldn’t we?
:38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch,
and find them so, blessed are those servants.
:38 second watch … third watch
In the days of the Roman empire, the night was divided into four “watches”.
The second watch was from 9:00 p.m. until midnight.
The third watch was from midnight until 3:00 a.m.
I don’t think this means that we need to stay up all night with toothpicks
in our eyelids waiting for the Lord to return.
Though if He were to return in the middle of the night, would we be excited
to see Him?
Could this be hinting about the “watches” of our lives?
Not just when you first come to the Lord, but as you grow older in life?
Could this be hinting at the “watches” of history?
The early church lived as if Jesus could come back any moment, but that was
two thousand years ago.
Back in the late sixties, there was a stirring in the church to be aware
that Jesus could come back soon, but that was fifty years ago.
What about today?
: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
:39 what hour the thief would come
Jesus now switches metaphors.
Instead of talking about being ready for the wedding, He talks about being
prepared for a thief.
You have to stay on your guard because you never know when you’re going to
As some of you older friends know, Cato was Inspector Clouseau’s
manservant, and one of his jobs was to help Clouseau stay alert by attacking
him at any moment.
:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
you do not expect.”
:40 at an hour you do not expect
Don’t let yourself be taken by surprise
The moment that you declare that Jesus can’t come back at this time, you
may be surprised.
There are two times when the Lord might “return”.
It might be the day of your death.
Remember the parable about the man building bigger barns.
There came a day when God said the man’s time on earth was done.
It might be at the time we call the “Rapture”, when Jesus comes to snatch
His church away before that terrible time on the earth known as the Great
4:16–17 NLT) —16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.
First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then,
together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be
caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the
Are you ready?
:41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to
us, or to all people?”
Jesus doesn’t seem to answer Peter’s question directly.
: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
:44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
:43 his master will find so doing
It will be a happy day for the servant who is doing what his master asked
him to do when the master returns.
To Do List
When Jesus talked about being ready for the wedding, (Luke 12:35-38), you
could get the idea that all you have to do to be ready is to have your track
shoes on and your flashlight ready.
But being ready involves action.
There are actually two things Jesus mentions in verse 42 that the steward
is supposed to be doing.
household – therapeia –
service rendered by one to another; medical service: curing, healing; household
It’s an odd choice of words that Jesus uses and is
translated as “household”.
Sounds like a Dr. Luke kind of word.
The Lord’s “household” should be a place where you find
Church ought to be a place of healing.
It ought to be a “safe place” where you can come to
confess your sin and find forgiveness and encouragement.
3:12–13 NLT) —12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe
yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and
patience. 13 Make
allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
I hear from many of you about this. Whether it’s the Monday night’s Men’s
Fellowship, the Ladies’ Fellowships, the James Gang, or other small groups, you
are finding forgiveness and healing within the church.
The faithful steward is one that “feeds” others.
Though this might include physical food, it certainly
implies feeding people spiritual food, sharing God’s Word with them.
We ought to look like this:
3:16 NKJV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching
and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
It’s not just the pastor that should be sharing God’s
Word. We all ought to.
God has all sorts of things in mind for each of us.
NLT) —8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take
credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Your salvation, your eternity in heaven, is not based on
what you do, it is based on the fact that Jesus came to die for your sins, and
you chose to receive God’s gift of forgiveness by faith.
9 Salvation is
not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about
it. 10 For we are
God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the
good things he planned for us long ago.
Video: A-Team – Plan Comes Together
God thinks way more than two steps ahead of the enemy.
Some of you are so discouraged with your life it seems like you’re in
prison and things are hopeless.
Yet even in prison, God has always been two steps ahead of
Joseph was in prison, yet God used it to leverage Joseph
into the halls of power in Egypt and he saved the world.
Daniel was in prison with lions, yet God saved Daniel to
speak to the king and show him just how powerful God was.
Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison, and
their jailer got saved.
Paul would even die in prison in Rome, but before he died,
he would write many of our favorite letters – Ephesians, Philippians,
Colossians, and 2Timothy.
You are a masterpiece.
God has many things He wants to do through you. He has a plan and He loves it when a plan
: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.
:46 appoint him his portion with the unbelievers
Some suggest this is talking about Jewish leaders winding up in hell.
Other suggest this is talking about believers losing their salvation.
I think it’s possible it’s talking about:
The term “unbelievers” could also be translated “unfaithful”.
Jesus might be talking about two kinds of saved people,
the faithful and the unfaithful.
Being “cut in two” can mean “separated”, with the idea of the unfaithful
being separated from the faith ones.
Paul seems to be describing the same process when he writes,
Corinthians 3:13–15 NKJV) —13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day
will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test
each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will
receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself
will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Jesus is saying that the unfaithful person will not receive rewards, but be
“separated” from their rewards.
: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
:48 But he who did not know
We learn about God’s judgment process here.
The extent of God’s judgment is based on how you’ve responded to what God
has shown you.
If you have known what God requires of you, and you didn’t do it, then it
will go harder for you.
Even if you didn’t know what God required of you, you will still be
The other day a man was driving down the road behind a
police officer at 45 mph. The man was in
a hurry and decided that since he was only going 45 mph, it would be safe to
pass the officer. After pulling in front
of the officer, the lights went on and the man was pulled over. “But officer!” said the man, “I was only
doing 45 mph!” “Yes,” said the officer,
“But the speed limit here is only 25 mph.!”
:48 much is given … much will be required
It kind of reminds me of that famous line from Uncle Ben…
If we have been given much by God, then He will be expecting much in
As believers in the United States of America, blessed to be in a church
where we freely study the Scriptures every week, we have been given much.
He will expect much from us.
:45 My master is delaying his coming
Live as if…
Will you allow me to be your “Cato” today?
Let me encourage you to anticipate the unexpected.
We need to life as if Jesus is coming today.
With the choices we face with the upcoming presidential election, some folks
on Facebook are making it sound as if we are facing the end of the world.
You do realize don’t you that this would mean that Jesus is coming back?
If anything, it ought to get us excited.
It ought to influence the way we choose to live our lives.
(1 John 3:2–3 NKJV)
—2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been
revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be
like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He
Keep your eyes on the soon return of Jesus Christ my friends.
Live as if it’s today.
Let God use you.
Let God find you as a faithful servant doing His will.