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Are You Ready (Luke 12:35-48)?

Luke 12:35–48 - 35 “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. 36 “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” 42 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? 43 “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44 “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 “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; 46 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. 47 “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, 48 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. What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Jesus uses a parable and teaching to underscore readiness for His return and responsibility in light of eternity. He urges His followers to stay spiritually ready, consistently serving others and pursuing holiness rather than being distracted by earthly worries (vv. 35-36). Believers should actively anticipate His coming like servants ready to immediately respond to their returning Master, even if unexpectedly in the night (vv. 37-40). Peter does not fully understand and asks if this teaching applies just to the 12 apostles or to all believers (v. 41). Jesus’ responds explaining that those granted more spiritual insight bear more accountability in applying it. He shares a parable contrasting faithful versus wicked servants left over their master’s home during his absence (vv. 42-48). Those proven trustworthy with smaller duties will be rewarded with greater Kingdom authority. But unfaithful stewards face severe judgment for presuming upon their master’s patience rather than serving well before his return (vv. 47-48). How can I apply Luke 12:35-48 to my life? Jesus teaches His followers vital principles regarding readiness for His return and living in light of eternity. Though He warned of coming persecution and suffering for believers, Jesus underscores glorious future reward and deliverance for those persevering faithfully through hardship. After reminding Christ-followers to fear God rather than men since He oversees eternity, Jesus shares two parables and sobering instructions underscoring key priorities for His true disciples across the ages who eagerly await His coming. He contrasts the attitudes, focus and judgment facing both faithful versus unfaithful servants regarding their master and his coming return. Jesus’ pointed words compel us to deeply examine whether our lives demonstrate wholehearted devotion to Him amid busy, comfortable lifestyles full of distractions. How would He evaluate the stewardship of all He has entrusted to our care during our fleeting time on earth? Are we more preoccupied with temporal worries or advancing God’s eternal Kingdom? Do we maintain an urgent readiness in light of Christ’s imminent return? Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Be Ready for the Lord's Return at All Times (vv. 35-40): Jesus stresses the importance of staying spiritually ready for His return by using the analogy of servants prepared to immediately open the door when their master knocks. We must maintain constant vigilance, actively anticipating His arrival rather than assuming His coming remains far in the future. Living in such continual readiness involves prioritizing the pursuit of personal holiness and selfless Kingdom service above worldly preoccupations that would distract our hearts and sap spiritual passion. When we walk closely with Jesus daily in obedience and prayer, we remain ready to joyfully welcome Him at any moment without shame at His appearing. Staying continually ready for our Master's sudden return requires adopting an eternal perspective amid our earthly lives. Rather than fixating on temporal worries, we can rest in our Heavenly Father's provision and sovereignty over every need. This frees us to concentrate on Kingdom purposes with undivided devotion. We must not grow apathetic about His imminent return. Ask the Lord to instill an expectant watchfulness that governs your daily priorities and choices. The more we ponder Jesus' literal return to rule and reign, the more wholeheartedly we will serve Him until He comes (Hebrews 9:28, 1 John 2:28, Revelation 16:15).

Food for thought: What most distracts your heart from staying ready for Jesus’ coming? What safeguards can you implement to maintain vigilance?

  1. Look to the Lord for Spiritual Wisdom (v. 41): As Peter asks Jesus if this parable applies just to the 12 disciples or to all people, the Lord emphasizes that those granted greater spiritual insight bear greater accountability before God. All Christ followers share the sobering responsibility to walk in obedience to the scriptural wisdom we've received. But Christian leaders and teachers face stricter judgment regarding modeling the truth they preach and teach. This principle underscores our desperate dependence on God's mercy as we endeavor to excel in Kingdom service. Since none of us perfectly live up to the revelation we've received, we must continually cry out to God for grace, humility, and the Holy Spirit's empowerment to align our lives with His truth. We should examine our hearts frequently for areas of hypocrisy or compromise that contradict our professed beliefs. This motivates us to pursue deeper repentance and obedience by relying on divine strength. As we strive to walk obediently in the spiritual light God has given us, we can rest in His patient forgiving grace when we stumble. Our Heavenly Father loves to reward sincere humility much more than flawless performance (James 3:1; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Jude 1:24-25).

Food for thought: Why is it vital for teachers and leaders to exemplify the truth they instruct others to obey? What safeguards can prevent spiritual pride?

  1. God Will Entrust More Responsibility to Those Who Serve Faithfully in the Smaller Things (vv. 42-48): After commending watchful readiness for His return, Jesus shares a parable contrasting the rewards given to faithful versus wicked servants in light of their master's coming arrival. He warns that those proven trustworthy in smaller matters will be rewarded with greater Kingdom responsibilities. But unfaithful servants who abuse their master's patience and resources face severe consequences. This sobering parable should motivate us to exemplify diligence, integrity, and obedience in even menial current duties for God's glory. We must resist the temptation to feel entitled to influence or esteemed roles without being tested through unseen seasons of small beginnings and humbly serving wherever needed. Impatience usually signals pride rather than wisdom and readiness for more visible ministry platforms in due time. So, we would be wise to bloom wholeheartedly wherever God currently has us planted. If we steward small opportunities faithfully as unto the Lord, He knows and will elevate faithful servants to broader spheres of purpose at the right time (Proverbs 16:3; Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2).

Food for thought: Why is patience and perseverance vital when waiting for God’s timing regarding promotions versus our desired timing? Are you currently serving with consistency and care in small beginning assignments for His Kingdom? Jesus' words in this passage remind us that our priorities are often wrong in light of eternity. Rather than fixating on temporary worries, we must stay vigilant and ready for our Master's sudden return, living by Kingdom priorities. We should cry out to God for grace to walk in greater obedience to the spiritual wisdom He grants us, not taking our knowledge of truth lightly. And we must refuse entitlement attitudes, faithfully excelling at current responsibilities and calling to prepare us for greater responsibility in due time. As the darkness increases in these last days, this passage encourages us to redeem the time through radical obedience even in the middle of this compromised generation. Just as Jesus courageously spoke difficult truth to prepare His listeners for what lay ahead, we must refuse to sugarcoat or downplay the increasing persecution ahead for His followers. But walking closely with our Master positions us to shine as beacons of hope. By staying ready and faithful through increasing chaos, we will hear Him say "Well done!" as we enter eternal joy in His presence when He appears. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would give me an eternal perspective to live wholeheartedly for Your coming Kingdom in light of the brevity of my days on earth. Equip me by Your Spirit to courageously speak difficult truths in love to those who need spiritual preparation for the dark days ahead. I pray that You would instill in me a vigilant readiness for Jesus' sudden appearance like a servant eagerly awaiting their master's return home at any moment. Empower me to serve You faithfully no matter how small or hidden the assignment. Test and prove my character now through menial earthly duties so I may be entrusted with greater eternal responsibilities in Your Kingdom later for Your glory. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 12:37 - “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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