Luke12: 35-48Written by kathleen on Jan 05, 2014 in - No Comments
Ready, willing and waiting. Be ready
35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
The idea behind waist be girded was clear enough for in those days, the men wore robes usually down to the ankles. And robes that were down to your ankles were difficult to run in. So whenever they were going to run they would pull the robe up and they would tie a sash around it to hold the robe up so that their legs would be free.
The same when you would go to work. You wanted the freedom of getting around so you would gird up the robe and tie a sash around it so that you can have freedom of movement.
Heb 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
To have your lights burning is an illustration Jesus used in many of his teachings as in the parable of the ten virgins with oil lamps and having them full of oil waiting for the appointed return of the bride groom. That having the analogy of being in full communion with the Holy Spirit as He directs your path which can also be tied in with a reference to Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.
You may have an inner willingness to serve God (your waist is girded) but if you do not have the illumination you need to serve Him well; which would be the light of God’s word burning brightly in your life; So he’s saying it’s time to get prepared!
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. . Are you?
As Christians we are to be seeking first the kingdom of God and a major part of that is to focus on the return of Jesus.
You see the Bible is as clear on His Second coming as it was on His first coming. In fact, the return of Jesus Christ to this world in the future is a basic doctrine of the Christian faith.
The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ will come to earth some day to bring human history to its end as we know it, to take the righteous to be with Him and establish His Kingdom; and to punish the wicked.
Therefore you can’t be indifferent or have a laziness toward the future. You’ve got to be ready for the future. And the future that He’s talking about is His return in glory.
Be watching is one way to be ready
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.
38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
You remember the night that Jesus had that last supper with His disciples. How that He girded Himself and took a towel and went around and washed their feet. How He served them.
He is saying, If you’re ready, if you’re watching and waiting even if the second watch goes by and He has not come yet when He comes in the third watch then He will gird Himself and will serve you as a reward in living a life ready and expectant for His return
Jesus will bless those who are simply looking for His coming because He said he would! And second; because those who the Lord serves realize grace has nothing to do with who they are and everything to do with who He is.
Those whom the Lord serves understand it’s no longer due to their greatness, but solely to His graciousness that they are blessed; and that it’s not based upon anything they have or haven’t done, but completely upon what He did on the Cross when He died for their sins.
This text is encouraging because Jesus doesn’t say, “Blessed are those servants who, when the Lord comes, He shall find working, witnessing, praying, preaching, studying or serving.” No. Jesus says, “Blessed, or happy, is the one who the Lord finds simply watching”—the one who realizes this life is not where it’s at, that life is empty apart from Him.
If you are struggling from a relationship that is not working out, finances that are not coming in, or physical pain that is eating you up, blessed are you, for you are aware of the emptiness of this world—and you can look forward to heaven all the more.
The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:8there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The crown of righteousness is given not to those who fight the good fight or run the race successfully. It’s given to those who love His appearing. It’s given to those who say, “Lord, I realize that this world is not really where it’s at. There’s got to be more. Therefore, I’m looking for Your coming.”
Being wise is another way to make you ready
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. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
We all know the embarrassment of being called on when unprepared. Jesus tells us to be prepared for His coming – which is the most important thing you could ever be ready for!
A thief never announces his coming; he comes at a time when you would not expect him. The way to be on guard against a thief is to live in constant readiness, and the way to be ready for Jesus’ return is to live in wisdom with constant readiness.
So don’t let anybody tell you that they know when Jesus is coming again. So many books have been written and so many dates have been set. But Jesus plainly says, “Be ready for the Son of man is coming in an hour when you think not.”
A clue about his coming is when people set a date because I know that He’s not going to come on that date so you can eliminate that date because they set it and He’s coming when you think not. So the very fact that they think it disallows Him coming at that time.
To be ready watching and waiting you must Be willing
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
Jesus said in Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
As Jesus is knocking at the door of the church corporately and at the door of our hearts personally He will never force anything upon us;
So Jesus answers Peter, saying that this is addressed to every one, and that all are to be like a faithful and wise steward willing to obey Him.
And how much more for us who live in these days as we see almost constantly the major signs of His coming. Matt 24:4-13 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
So Jesus is saying, “Look; you be like a servant who’s watching, who’s waiting and set for Me to come so that the moment I knock, you’ll be able to open the door. That’s the attitude that He wants the church corporately and you personally to be in.
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 he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
When Peter wrote his first epistle writing to the leaders of the church he said, 1 Peter 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Although Peter was one with the people in the church, he was responsible to oversee them. That is the challenge for a pastor, a parent, a youth or any ministry leader.
If I am simply overseeing but am not among the people to whom I’m ministering, I will become aloof and untouchable. If, on the other hand, I’m just one of the gang, shooting pool and joking around every night, I probably won’t have the authority to oversee as I’m told to do. What is Peter’s solution? We’ll see it in verse 3.
You shouldn’t have to be prodded to pastor, or to be a godly parent, or to work with the fourth-graders in Sunday school.
In other words, your motivation should not come from someone relentlessly badgering you, but from the internal call of God.
There are two inherent dangers in the ministry. The first is laziness, when people do the very least they possibly can.
There’s no room in the ministry for laziness because, to a large degree, the well-being of the flock depends upon the care of those in positions of ministry.
The second inherent danger in ministry is that of covetousness comparing what god is doing in your life to what He is doing in someone else’s life or ministry.
As pastor, I’m not the Reverend Right Most Holy Bishop I’m just one of the sheep. Why am I up front?
If the church were likened to a hospital, I am up front simply because I’ve been a patient a little longer than most of you in the Hospital of God’s Grace and Goodness.
So, I know where the cafeteria is and where the restrooms are. I know who to watch out for, and which doctors have big needles. We’re all in this thing together. We’re all sheep. Therefore, no one in the body of Christ can lord it over anyone else.
So the solution to verse 2 in parenting, pastoring, or anything else concerning working with people, the bottom line is this: Be an example. That’s how you can be among people and oversee them, as well. Whether I’m interacting with my kids or serving at Calvary Chapel, I am not to be a lord; I’m to be an example.
There’s a big difference between q lording over type dictatorship and leadership. Dictatorship says, “Go.” Leadership says, “Let’s go.”
Whether parenting or pastoring the true leader is involved in whatever he’s or she is teaching or helping others to do. Paul put it this way to Timothy:
1 Tim 4:12 set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. In other words, be a person of prayer, a person of compassion who worships. Let people see this first in you.
Let me ask you a question:
If everyone at Calvary Chapel was exactly like you, what kind of church would we have?
If everyone prayed for the body of Christ as much as you do, how much prayer would we have?
If everyone tithed exactly like you, how much would we be able to invest for the kingdom?
If everyone came to morning worship as much as you, how many would come?
If everyone helped in Sunday school to the degree you do, would the church be bigger, stronger, and healthier?
These are very important questions because that which each of us does or doesn’t do affects the rest of us very definitely.
If you’re an example—if you’re feeding people and caring for them—the day is coming when all of those things that were unnoticed will be greatly rewarded.
A time is coming when all of the things I have done are going to be tested by fire. I will stand before the Lord, realizing I could have given more generously and served more freely. Rev 21:4 He will wipe every tear from our eyes.
The crowns of which Peter speaks are not just to parade around in. No, they are to cast at Jesus’ feet in gratitude and adoration—as well as determining our function in eternity.
If you’re tired of where you’re at now, be one who says, “I might not be where I wanted to be on earth, but I’m praying, giving, worshiping and serving as if Jesus is coming today.
Your efforts will be known to Him, and you will be fulfilled in ways you never were on this earth.”
So who is the steward that the Lord is going to put over His flock?
The person who has been entrusted by the Lord to watch the other servants and over the Master’s things; “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find him or her loving people and continually shares the goodness of God through His Word.
Being wise is being warned about being ready watching willing
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.
A very stern warning by Jesus concerning those that He has entrusted with spiritual things
This would be the unfaithful Person or persons who had the light and knowledge of God’s word, but made an improper use of the privileges they received.
A poor steward (Christian) lives without the expectation of his master’s return.
They mistreat other stewards (Christians) and they waste His time and resources on unprofitable things. You see: The servant who says, “he hasn’t come yet, so he isn’t coming at all” has made a fatal mistake
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:4-6
If we truly believed Jesus would return in the next twenty-four hours would our lifestyle look like what Peter tells us in:
1 Peter 3:8-10 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
You see a realization of His return leads one to living rightly and rewards eternally.
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 more.
The evil servant here isn’t doomed to hell. Rather, I believe the implication is that he knew God’s will and chose to disobey it rendering him unfaithful, therefore he loses out on what he could have enjoyed eternally had he lived his life looking for his Lord’s return and the realization of that loss will be as being beaten with many stripes. Therefore a person will be held responsible for the knowledge that he has. Those who had been given much will be held to a higher standard and a greater accountability than those who didn’t know.
That’s the answer to that native in the dark jungles of Africa who has never heard of Jesus Christ. The Lord will be fair in His judgment and justice will prevail but
the guy who knows and isn’t obeying he’s the one who is in big trouble.
We ought to be worried about ourselves more than him who is out there in the dark jungles of Africa because we’ve heard and we know, and we’re responsible for what we’ve heard and what we know.
God will take care of him and He will also take care of us. “Unto whom much is given, much is required: and to those men who have been committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
We are not only responsible for keeping from evil, but we are responsible to do what we know God’s will is.
So are you ready, willing, and waiting for Jesus return?
READY OR NOT HE IS COMING