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Luke 12:35-48

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 22, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Starting Thursday night June 2, we will be running a 13 week series on “worldview” known as the “Truth Project”.

Video:  The Truth Project trailer

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

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

waistosphus – the hip (loin); to gird, gird about, the loins

be girdedperizonnumi – to fasten garments with a girdle or belt; to gird one’s self

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 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
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

lampsluchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

burningkaio – to set on fire, light, burning; to burn, consume with fire

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 Jesus.

(Matthew 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 immediately.

who waitprosdechomai – to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self; to expect: the fulfilment of promises

returnanaluo – to unloose, undo again; to depart, break up, to depart from life, to return

the weddinggamos – a wedding or marriage festival, a wedding banquet, a wedding feast; marriage, matrimony

knockskrouo – to knock: at the door

immediatelyeutheos – straightway, immediately, forthwith

may openanoigo – to open

: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:
(Revelation 3:20 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.

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

servantsdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; a servant, attendant

watchinggregoreuo – to watch; metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

he will gird himselfperizonnumi – to fasten garments with a girdle or belt; to gird one’s self

sit downanaklino – to lean against, lean upon; to lay down; to make or bid to recline

will comeparerchomai – to go past, pass by; to come near, come forward, arrive

servediakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon

: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 serving me.
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)
Video:  Jesus washes Peter’s feet

(John 13:8 NKJV) Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Peter can’t imagine Jesus serving him.
Even though He has the “name above every name”, He will serve us.
(Matthew 20:25–28 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.

watchphulake – guard, watch; of the time (of night) during which guard was kept, a watch i.e. a period of time during which part of the guard was on duty, and at the end of which others relieved them.  As the earlier Greeks divided the night commonly into three parts, so, previous to the exile, the Israelites also had three watches in a night; subsequently, however, after they became subject to the Romans, they adopted the Roman custom of dividing the night into four watches

: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 into.

masteroikodespotes (“house” + “master”) – master of the house, householder

thiefkleptes – an embezzler, pilferer

would have watchedgregoreuo – to watch; metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

to be broken throughdiorusso (“through” + “dig”) – to dig through: a house

: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 be attacked.
Video:  Clouseau vs. Cato Round 1
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.”

readyhetoimos – prepare, ready

you do not expectdokeo – to be of opinion, think, suppose; to seem, to be accounted, reputed

:40 at an hour you do not expect

Video:  Clouseau vs. Cato Round 4

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 Tribulation.
(1 Thessalonians 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 Lord forever.

Are you ready?

Video:  Rapture

: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.

But He will answer it, in a round-about way.

We’ll see that we are all responsible to God for the things He has shown us.

: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?

faithful pistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties; one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust; that can be relied on

wise phronimos – intelligent, wise; prudent, i.e. mindful of one’s interests

steward oikonomos – the manager of household or of household affairs; esp. a steward, manager, superintendent (whether free-born or as was usually the case, a freed-man or a slave) to whom the head of the house or proprietor has entrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age; the manager of a farm or landed estate, an overseer

will make rulerkathistemi – to set, place, put; to set one over a thing (in charge of it); to appoint one to administer an office

portion of foodsitometron (“wheat” + “measure”) – a measured ‘portion of’ grain or ‘food’

: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.

that he hashuparchonta – possessions, goods, wealth, property

make him rulerkathistemi – to set, place, put; to set one over a thing (in charge of it); to appoint one to administer an office

: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.
householdtherapeia – service rendered by one to another; medical service: curing, healing; household service

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 healing.

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.

(Colossians 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:

(Colossians 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.

But sometimes we are more characterized by devouring others than we are by feeding them.

(Galatians 5:15 NKJV) But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

God has all sorts of things in mind for each of us.
(Ephesians 2:8–10 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 the enemy.

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 comes together.

Last week we talked about how He had given each of us “things” or “stuff” to take care of.  That includes your finances, your possessions, your talents, and your personality.
He hasn’t given us these “things” to just be buried in the ground, but to be invested in this world and be used for God’s purposes.
(Matthew 25:14–21 NKJV) —14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

: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,

delayingchronizo – to linger, delay, tarry

to beattupto – to strike, beat, smite; with a staff, a whip, the fist, the hand

the male servants pais – a child, boy or girl; infants, children; servant, slave; an attendant, servant, spec. a king’s attendant, minister

female servants paidiske – a young girl, damsel; a maid-servant, a young female slave; a maid servant who has charge of the door

to be drunkmethusko – to intoxicate, make drunk; to get drunk, become intoxicated

: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.

lookingprosdokao – to expect (whether in thought, in hope, or in fear); to look for, wait for

cut him in two dichotomeo – (“two” + “to cut”, “dichotomy”) to cut into two parts; scourge severely

appointtithemi – to set, put, place

portionmeros – a part; a part due or assigned to one; lot, destiny

unbelievers apistos – unfaithful, faithless, unbelieving

:46 appoint him his portion with the unbelievers

Some suggest this is talking about Jewish leaders winding up in hell.

Some have suggested that Jesus isn’t speaking here to the leadership of the church, but that He’s talking about the leadership of the Jewish nation, who are unbelievers to start with.  If the Jews, who have a knowledge about the Messiah’s coming, are not prepared and waiting for the Messiah, then they will have a place with all the other unbelievers.

Other suggest this is talking about believers losing their salvation.

Some have suggested that Jesus is saying that if you aren’t faithful as a Christian, that you lose your salvation.

I think it’s possible it’s talking about:

Losing Rewards
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,

(1 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.

I do not think that this means that a person is going to be “miserable” for eternity in heaven.  They will still be blessed, but with a different capacity for blessing.


A two year old loves to play with pots and pans in the kitchen.  If you have a two year old, you can sit down on the kitchen floor and get out a few pots and pans and have a great time together.  The child will love it!

But as an adult, do you have a secret desire to steal away in the middle of the night and get out the pots and pans?

No, because as an adult, you have a different capacity for enjoyment.  The things you enjoy are different than what a child enjoys.

: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.

who knewginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

willthelema – what one wishes or has determined shall be done; will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

preparehetoimazo – to make ready, prepare; to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready

shall be beatendero – to flay, skin; to beat, thrash, smite

: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.

deservingaxios – weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much; befitting, congruous, corresponding to a thing; of one who has merited anything worthy

stripesplege – a blow, stripe, a wound; a public calamity, heavy affliction, plague,

shall be beatendero – to flay, skin; to beat, thrash, smite

fewoligos – little, small, few

muchpolus – many, much, large

givendidomi – to give

requiredzeteo – to seek in order to find; to seek i.e. require, demand; to crave, demand something from someone

committedparatithemi – to place beside or near or set before; to place down (from one’s self or for one’s self) with any one; to deposit; to intrust, commit to one’s charge

the moreperissos – exceeding some number or measure or rank or need

will askaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

: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 responsible.

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…

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If we have been given much by God, then He will be expecting much in return.

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

Video:  Clouseau vs. Cato Round 2
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.
John writes,
(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 is pure.
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.