35 “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37 The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.
39 “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?”
42 And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 45 But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 46 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.
47 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
S - Scripture
47 And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished.
O - Observation
The teaching from Jesus isn't as well known as some of his other teachings, but it is a profound teaching. Jesus challenges his disciples (he is talking to them - see verse 22) that following Jesus is not just a set of beliefs and doctrines, but a life comittment. It's not just about knowing, it is also about doing. Being a disciple of Jesus is about applying and practicing his teachings. Faith without works is dead (James 2:20). True Christian discipleship moves from the head to the heart to the hands.
A - Application
The primary application from this parable is to live a life that honors God. My faith has to be an active faith. How I live my life matters in many ways.
- Today my actions matter for me. God's ways are the best ways in this world. His Law and teachings are the best way for me to put my life together in a way that makes the most sense.
- Eternally my actions matter for me. Sin is what seperates me from God. The Greek word for sin is harmatia which means "to miss the mark". Jesus makes a call to live a life of preparation and connectedness (verses 35 and 36) because we don't know when God will return (verse 40).
- Today my actions matter for others. Serving, forgiving, sharing with, and loving others not only brings joy to me, but it brings hope, joy, peace, comfort, and love to others.
- Eternally my actions matter for others. It's an old cliche, but it's true, the most important sermon I can preach is the life that I live. Sharing my faith through my life allows me to be God's witness and bring light to a dark world (see verse 35).
So I will do my best to live a life that reflects the life of Jesus.P - Prayer
Lord help me know you more clearly, love your more dearly, and follow you more nearly. Amen.