The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 12 ~ Part 3: Luke 12:35-48

Luke 12 Part 3 vs 35-48

Outline of the Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 12:

This is the second major topic of Chapter 12. This discussion and following parable are unique to Luke. They are dominated by the first-person pronoun, which shows the selfishness and self-focus of the worldly person who is condemned here, not for being rich but for the selfish way in which his bountiful crop is used. The parable serves as a warning against covetousness and greed.

I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.

1. Concerning hypocrisy, Luke 12:1-12.

2. Concerning covetousness, Luke 12:13-34.

3. Concerning faithfulness, Luke 12:35-48.

4. Concerning division and signs, Luke 12:49-59.

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7 14 20 -Luke 12 vs36-38-We are to Live Each Day in Anticipation of Our Lord's Return,Pt2-Blessings Come to Those Who are Eagerly Anticipating the Return of Our Lord3. Concerning Faithfulness, Luke 12:35-48.

In the first half of this section, we have several analogies that are further explained in other parts of the Gospels like the Ten Virgins and their lamps, the wedding feast, the Master / slave relationship, and the prepared head of the household. Luke combines all of these teachings into this section to point out the principles of walking faithfully every day.

Vs. 35

Luke 12:35, “Be dressed in readiness, and lamps lit.”

This reminds us of our Lord’s teaching about the Ten Virgins and their lamps, Mat 25:1-12, which also speaks of a wedding feast and concludes, as vs. 48 below does, with the thought of “we do not know when the Lord will return.”

Be dressed in readiness,” actually says from the Greek “Let your lions by girded about,” as a commanded using the Imperative Mood of EIMI, “to be,” with HUMEIS HO OSPHUS, “waist or loins,” and the Perfect, Passive, Participle of the Verb PERIZONNUMI it is a compound word that means, “to gird around or about, to bind around.”

The wearing of a girdle took on the meaning, as here, of one who is “ready” or “prepared” or “strengthened for service or action” as indicated in such metaphoric expressions, “Yahweh is girded with might; Yahweh girds the righteous with strength,” Psa 18:32; 65:6. So, it means to prepare yourself for service and the Second Coming of the Lord. To do so, we are to put on the armor of God, Eph 6:14, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”

Compare Ex 12:11, when God instructed the Israelites to gird their loins when eating the first Passover supper in preparation for their freedom from Egypt.

“Be dressed in readiness,” also speaks of our “wedding clothes,” that we are to adorn which means we are prepared and anticipating the Lord’s return. The negative analogy of not being dressed in “wedding clothes,” is given in Mat 22:11ff.

This analogy also reminds us of Jesus girding (DIAZONNUMI) Himself for service in John 13:4-5, when He washed the disciple’s feet for their experiential cleansing and sanctification. By imagery, He put on His wedding clothes and served us, which was His Cross.

“Lamps lit,” is HO LUCHNOS, “lamp,” and KAIO, “to light, kindle, set on fire, or burn.” “Keep your” is not found in the Greek and should not be added as in the NASB, because it makes one think they must maintain your faith throughout your life for salvation, which is not true. The Greek simply says, “and lamps lit,” which means that they have believed in Jesus Christ and have eternal security.

This also reminds us of the Ten Virgins in Mat 25:1ff. The first five virgins were ready for the Lord to come and take them into heaven, because they had believed upon Him for salvation. The other five were not saved and missed out.

Vs. 36

Luke 12:36, “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.”

Waiting” is the Verb PROSDECHOMAI, προσδέχομαι that means here, “await or expect.” With the prefix PROS, it means the expectation of a personal interaction with someone. We noted this word in Luke 2:25, 38. Cf. Mark 15:43.

Mark 15:43, “Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.”

The one they are waiting for is the same one that Joseph was waiting for, “the Lord,” KURIOS, translated generically as “master” in this parable. Interestingly, Jesus says they are waiting for their master for, “when he returns from the wedding feast.”

Returns” is the Verb ANALUO in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive. The potential Subjunctive is not whether or not Jesus will return; He absolutely will. It is for whether or not the person will wait for His return or not. It is only used here and by Paul in Phil 1:23, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.” The root word LUO means to “loose, untie, set free, etc.” The Preposition ANA means “above.” This is the emphasis of our Lord’s return. This is why Jesus came in His First Advent, to set the captives free from their sins. He will return to culminate that freedom by bringing the believer home to the kingdom of God and eternal glory, above and beyond setting free.

Here, they are waiting for the master to return from “the wedding feast,” GAMOS that means, “wedding celebration, marriage feast, or marriage nuptials.” It is used in Mat 22:2-12, (the Parable of the Marriage Feast); 25:10; Luke 12:36; 14:8, (analogies using wedding feasts); John 2:1-2, (the wedding at Cana), and Rev 19:7-9, (The Marriage of the Lamb).

By analogy we note the Wedding Ceremony in Hebrew culture. In that process, the groom and his friends went to the home of the bride. The home of the bride in the analogy is planet earth. The groom stood before the bride in her parent’s home and he said, “You are my wife. I am your husband from this day and forever.” Then the parents gave their daughter to the groom. Next, the groom and his friends escorted the wife to the home of the groom for the wedding feast, Mat 22:2. At that time, the bride’s maids assembled outside of the home of the groom and waited for them, (the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was based on this custom).

In regard to the Church and Jesus Christ, the presentation of the bride to the Lord Jesus Christ occurs at the Rapture of the Church. The betrothal occurs at the moment of one’s salvation. Then when Christ returns at the Rapture, the bride (the Church), is presented to Him. This will continue throughout the Tribulation, until it is culminated in heaven with a wedding feast followed by our Lord’s Second Advent, Rev 19:7-9, that then begins the Millennial Reign.

In our passage in Luke, Jesus is pointing to our Lord’s Second Advent (at the end of the Tribulation), when the master returns from the wedding feast, (which in reality continues throughout the Millennial Reign). At the end of the Tribulation, the Old Testament saints will be resurrected as the third company or Charlie Company to be resurrected. Cf. 1 Cor 15:20-24. This is the resurrection of the Old Testament believers and Tribulational martyrs at the end of the Tribulation, at the 2nd Advent, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19-20; Mat 24:31; Rev 20:4. The first company, Alpha, was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second company, Bravo, is the Rapture of the Church at the end of the Church Age, the fourth company, Delta, is the Resurrection of Millennial Saints at the end of the Millennium.

Here, Jesus is speaking to OT saints in the Age of Israel, and encouraging them to be prepared, so that at His Second Advent they will be resurrected because of their salvation through faith in the Messiah.

God warns of the importance to honor the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, which also has analogy to the believer’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ being held in honor and high regard. Heb 13:4

In the second half of this verse, we are told of the type of readiness we all, (Bravo, Charlie, and Delta companies), are to have while waiting for our Lord to return, “So that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.”

In the Greek, it states the second part first, “having come and having knocked,” ERCHOMAI, “come or appear,” and KROUO, “to knock,” which are both in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Genitive. It is speaking of our relationship with the Lord based on His First Advent, “having come,” that brought us salvation, and our ongoing relationship with Him, i.e., “having knocked.”

This knocking reminds us of Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” This verse is not a call to salvation, but a call for restoration of fellowship with God for the believer.

In addition, this calls to mind our prayer life, which is a main indicator of relationship with the Lord and our readiness to receive Him, as it demonstrates our daily relationship with Him, cf. Mat 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” For further application of fellowship and relationship analogies, see also Luke 13:25; Acts 12:13, 13.

The “master” (Our Lord Jesus Christ) is the one who is coming and doing the knocking. He will return upon His Second Coming and He does the knocking upon the believer’s soul to get them to wake up from their reversionism or apostasy, as necessary, so that upon His return they will be ready for Him, i.e., “open immediately to him,” the Adverb EUTHEOS, with the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of the Verb ANOIGO and the Pronoun AUTOS. Again, the Subjunctive is used for potentiality of receiving Him, i.e., “open immediately.”

As Mat 25:11f., tells us, if someone is not ready for the Lord’s return, because of unbelief, they will miss it, “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us’.”

Therefore, our Lord is instructing us all to be ready for His return. To be ready for His return, we first must have believed upon Him for the forgiveness of our sins, realizing He is our Savior. If someone has done that, they will be ready for Him to return. Mat 24:50

Mat 24:42, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”

Mat 24:44, “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Mark 13:32, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

Vs. 36

Luke 12:36, “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.”

In the context of this passage and the parallel parables, it relates to the Second Coming of Christ. Luke, uses these to focus on and emphasize the teaching of faith and trust in God.

Waiting” is the Verb PROSDECHOMAI, προσδέχομαι that means here, “await or expect.” With the prefix PROS, it means the expectation of a personal interaction with someone. We noted this word in Luke 2:25, 38. Cf. Mark 15:43.

Mark 15:43, “Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.”

In our verse, the One these men / people are waiting for is the same one that Joseph was waiting for, “the Lord,” KURIOS, translated generically as “master” in this parable. Interestingly, Jesus says they are waiting for their master, “when he returns from the wedding feast.”

Returns” is the Verb ANALUO in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive. The potential Subjunctive is not whether or not Jesus will return; He absolutely will. It is for whether or not the person will wait for His return or not. It is only used here and by Paul in Phil 1:23, “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.” The root word LUO means to “loose, untie, set free, etc.” The Preposition ANA means “above.” This is the emphasis of our Lord’s return. This is why Jesus came in His First Advent, to set the captives free from their sins. He will return to culminate that freedom by bringing the Jewish Dispensation believers home to the kingdom of God and eternal glory. Therefore, it is the above and beyond setting free.

Here, they are waiting for the master to return from “the wedding feast,” GAMOS that means, “wedding celebration, marriage feast, or marriage nuptials.” It is used in Mat 22:2-12, (the Parable of the Marriage Feast); 25:10; Luke 12:36; 14:8, (analogies using wedding feasts); John 2:1-2, (the wedding at Cana), and Rev 19:7-9, (The Marriage of the Lamb).

By analogy we note the Wedding Ceremony in Hebrew culture. In that process, the groom and his friends went to the home of the bride. The home of the bride in the analogy is planet earth. The groom stood before the bride in her parent’s home and he said, “You are my wife. I am your husband from this day and forever.” Then the parents gave their daughter to the groom. Next, the groom and his friends escorted the wife to the home of the groom for the wedding feast,

Mat 22:2. At that time, the bride’s maids assembled outside of the home of the groom and waited for them, (the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was based on this custom).

In regard to the Church and Jesus Christ, the betrothal occurs at the moment of one’s salvation. The presentation of the bride to the Lord Jesus Christ occurs at the Rapture of the Church. Then when Christ returns at the Rapture, the bride (the Church), is presented to Him. This will continue throughout the Tribulation, until it is culminated in heaven with a wedding feast followed by our Lord’s Second Advent, Rev 19:7-9, that then begins the Millennial Reign.

In our passage in Luke, Jesus is not pointing to the Rapture of the Church, but is pointing to His Second Advent that will occur at the end of the Tribulation. The analogy, “when the master returns from the wedding feast,” (which in reality continues throughout the Millennial Reign), is pointing to the end of the Tribulation, after the wedding ceremony of Rev 19, of Jesus and the Church. At that time, the Age of Israel will be ended and Jewish Dispensation saints, along with all Old Testament saints, will be resurrected as the third or Charlie Company to be resurrected. Cf. 1 Cor 15:20-24. (See Resurrections in Human History chart on our website www.gracedoctrine.org/diagrams-and-maps/ ). This is the resurrection of the Jewish Dispensation believers, (that includes all O.T. saints and Tribulational saints that died or were martyred during the Tribulation), at the end of the Tribulation, at the 2nd Advent, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19-20; Mat 24:31; Rev 20:4. The first company of resurrections was the Alpha Company, the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the second company, Bravo, is the Rapture of the Church at the end of the Church Age; the fourth company, Delta, is the Resurrection of Millennial Saints at the end of the Millennium. These are all part of the “first resurrections,” Rev 20:5. The “second resurrection,” is the resurrection of all unbelievers from all human history. They will be resurrected and judged for their works and cast into the Lake of Fire, the “second death,” Rev 20:11-15.

Here, Jesus is speaking to OT saints in the Age of Israel, and encouraging them to be prepared, so that at His Second Advent they will be resurrected because of their salvation through faith in the Messiah.

God warns of the importance to honor the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, which also has analogy to the believer’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ being held in honor and high regard.

Heb 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

In the second half of this verse, we are told of the type of readiness we all, (Bravo, Charlie, and Delta companies), are to have while waiting for our Lord to return, “So that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.”

In the Greek, it states the second part first, “having come and having knocked,” ERCHOMAI, “come or appear,” and KROUO, “to knock,” which are both in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Genitive. It is speaking of our relationship with the Lord based on His First Advent, “having come,” that brought us salvation, and our ongoing relationship with Him, i.e., “having knocked.”

This knocking reminds us of Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” This verse is not a call to salvation, but a call for restoration of fellowship with God for the believer.

In addition, this calls to mind our prayer life, which is a main indicator of relationship with the Lord and our readiness to receive Him, as it demonstrates our daily relationship with Him, cf. Mat 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” For further application of fellowship and relationship analogies, see also Luke 13:25; Acts 12:13, 13.

The “master” (Our Lord Jesus Christ) is the one who is coming and doing the knocking. He will return upon His Second Coming and He does the knocking upon the believer’s soul to get them to wake up from their reversionism or apostasy, as necessary, so that upon His return they will be ready for Him, i.e., “open immediately to him,” the Adverb EUTHEOS, with the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of the Verb ANOIGO and the Pronoun AUTOS. Again, the Subjunctive is used for potentiality of receiving Him, i.e., “open immediately.”

As Mat 25:11f., tells us, if someone is not ready for the Lord’s return, because of unbelief, they will miss it, “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us’. 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.”

Therefore, our Lord is instructing us all to be ready for His return, for Christ’s return will be like that of a thief in the night, 2 Peter 3:10; cf. 1 Peter 1:13. There is thus a relationship between Jesus’ prior words about treasure in heaven and watchfulness.

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

To be ready for His return, we first must have believed upon Him for the forgiveness of our sins, realizing He is our Savior. If someone has done that, they have the opportunity to be ready for Him to return. The one who has his treasure in heaven will be ready and watching for Christ’s return; the one who has his heart set on the treasures of this world will be caught completely unaware at His coming.

Mat 24:42, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”

Mat 24:44, “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Mat 24:50, “The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know.”

Mark 13:32, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

Even though this passage is speaking to the believers of the Jewish Dispensation about the Lord returning from a wedding feast, the point of this parable is the preparation for His return that all believers of every dispensation and generation should be anticipating as imminent.

Titus 2:13, “Waiting with keen anticipation for that blessed hope (2nd Coming), even the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”

Vs. 37

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.”

The first half is paralleled in vs. 43, and Mat 24:46, the next few verses also parallel the parable of the doorkeeper in Mark 13:33-37.

Blessed,” is MAKARIOS that means, “blessed, fortunate, or happy,” once again. It is a pronouncement especially upon those who act, that is those who apply God’s Word in their life consistently.

Slave,” is the typical word DOULOS that means, “slave, bondman, or servant.” Here with, “find on the alert,” speaks of the believer who is actively involved in serving the Lord.

Master,” KURIOS is once again in analogy to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Will find on the alert,” uses the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb HEURISKO that means, “find, discover, etc.” It is where we get our English word eureka from that is used to express delight when finding, discovering, or solving something, or on finally succeeding in doing something. In our passage, it is being found by our Lord upon His 2nd Coming that we are eagerly anticipating His return as demonstrated in our works, i.e., the consistent application of Bible Doctrine from our souls.

It is with the Present, Active, Participle, Accusative, Plural of the Verb GREGOREO, γρηγορέω that means, “be or stay awake, be alert, watch, and be vigilant.” This is the first time Luke uses this word. His only other use is in vs. 39. Matthew and Mark also use it for the alertness we are to have for our Lord’s Second Coming, in Mat 24:42-43; 25:13; Mark 13:34-35, 37; as also in Rev 3:3; 16:15. Matthew and Mark also use it for our Lords pleading with the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to stay awake with Him, Mat 26:38, 40-41; Mark 14:34, 37-38. It is then used for the alertness we are to have in living the unique spiritual life of the Church Age daily, Acts 20:31; 1 Cor 16:13; Col 4:2; 1 Thes 5:6, 10; 1 Peter 5:8; Rev 3:2.

When He comes,” gives us the context of our Lord’s 2nd Coming using the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, Singular of the common Verb ERCHOMAI that means, “come or appear,” i.e., His 2nd Coming.

In the second half of this verse, we see a promise of blessing from our Lord to the believer who keeps on the alert, keeps watching for, the Lord’s imminent return.

“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.”

Truly I say to you,” uses the Interjection, AMEN, “truly, surely, so let it be, indeed, amen,” with LEGO HUMEIS. This use in the NT is unique to Jesus and reinforces the importance and truthfulness of His words. In the OT the Hebrew AMEN is often used after prayer as a response of conviction that what is said or asked for is true or will come to pass, e.g., Deut 27:15; Psa 41:13; 72:19; 106:48. It is fitting that Jesus should speak with such assertiveness, for He is the only begotten Son of God.

With this interjection, Jesus is giving the believer three promises that He will fulfill for them upon His return.

1.That He will gird himself to serve,” which uses HOTI with the Future, Middle, Indicative of the Verb PERIZONNUMI that we noted in vs. 37, as “to gird,” or dressed yourself for readiness. “To serve,” is not in the Greek, which is why it is italicized. As we noted above, the analogies of “gird ourselves,” tell us several things. Here they refer to our Lord Jesus Christ upon His Second Advent.

a. He will have His wedding clothes on. And having received His bride (the Church), He will present her in all her glory.

b. As the Passover Lamb, He is prepared to provide for the believer’s spotless (without sin) life in eternity. He will free us for all of eternity from the slavery or captivity of sin as we leave this body of sin behind and receive a new resurrection body. In addition, He casts Satan and the fallen angels into the Lake of Fire. Therefore, for all of eternity we will never be tempted or influenced by sin from within or from the outside.

c. His is ready to serve us by washing our sins away giving us eternal cleansing and sanctification. (This speaks to our ultimate sanctification).

d. He will be ready, prepared, and strengthened with the armor of God, to care and provide for us, for all of eternity. (This also speaks of the defeat of Satan, who will be in the Lake of Fire, and sin for all of eternity).

2.Have them recline at the table,” uses the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb ANAKLINO that means, “cause to recline, lie down (an infant), or recline (at a meal).”

a. It is first used by Luke for the laying of our Lord in the manger by Mary and Joseph, Luke 2:7. Therefore, it speaks of His First Advent. As such, we have the bookends of Jesus’ ministry to care and provide for us, both in time and for all of eternity.

b. It is also used for the command for the people to sit while Jesus fed them from the fish and loaves, Mat 14:19; Mark 6:39; Luke 7:36; 9:15. Therefore, it speaks to Jesus providing for the believer for all of eternity.

c. It is used of the eternal Kingdom, where all believers are invited to recline with Jesus, as used here and Mat 8:1; Luke 13:29.

Luke 13:29, “And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

Mat 8:11, “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus said to the apostles, Luke 22:30, “That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

This was foreshadowed at the Last Passover Supper, when our Lord used the bread and wine in imagery about His impending sacrifice that they would be able to share in, Luke 24:30, “When He had reclined (KATAKLINO) at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.” Because of our faith in His sacrifice, we will be able to share in His resurrection and have fellowship with Him for all of eternity.

3.Will come up and wait on them.” PARERCHOMAI with the Verb DIAKONEO, “serve, wait upon tables, minister, help, serve as deacon.”

Once again, we are reminded of our Lord girding Himself and serving the disciples as foreshadowed in John 13:4-5. As such, the apostles had a foretaste of this honor on the evening of the last Passover. Here, Jesus is making it clear that He is to be understood as a prepared, providing, and plateful (serving) Lord. This was the theme of His First Advent, Mat 20:28; Mark 10:45, and will continue to be an identifier of who He is for all of eternity.

Mat 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

This was shocking to the hearers of Jesus’ day, as it was unheard of for the master to serve the servant. But that is exactly what Jesus came to do, and the attitude He wants to find His servants also having upon His return.

As such, our Lord’s instructions for us, His disciples, are to have that same mentality so that He finds us in that mode of operation when He returns. If we do, we will be the greater ones in the Kingdom of heaven, as Jesus is greater because of having that type of heart both in His humanity and His deity.

Luke 22:27, “For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”

In addition, we are told that there is a special reward in eternity for those who are anticipating the Lord’s return, 2 Tim 4:8.

2 Tim 4:8, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Vs. 38

Luke 12:38, “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

“Whether,” is the Conjunction KAN, that is a compound from KAI (and) and EAN (if), so it means “and if.” It is used to give a more intensified meaning to the simple use of KAI or EAN alone. Luke has repeated used intensifiers to his writing. Here it intensifies the fact of the Second Coming of our Lord.

He comes,” ERCHOMAI, continues to speak of the Parousia of Jesus Christ, His Second Coming. Here we have two potentials for His return, “in the second watch,” EN HO DEUTEROS PHULAKE, “guarding or watching,” “or even in the third watch He comes,” KAN EN HO TRITOS PHULAKE ERCHOMAI. The underlined words are not in the NASB but are in the Greek.

This is language from the Roman and Hebrew military for different times of the night that soldiers would be actively on duty and posted at certain positions to “keep watch” or guard the city from enemies or insurgents.

In a side note, Jesus Christ is our watch keeper who protects us from our enemies and insurgents, i.e., Satan and sin, 1 Peter 2:25.

1 Peter 2:25, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

In Roman culture, which is most likely what Luke was referring too, the “second watch” was from 9 p.m. to Midnight, and the “third watch,” was from midnight to 3 a.m. Notice that they both have midnight in their watch, which is where we get our “midnight cry” from, thinking that the Resurrections may occur at midnight Jerusalem time, Mat 25:6. The analogy is, if the return of our Lord is very late in the night or toward morning, in the “second or third watch” (the middle and last division of the night hours), the alertness of the servants is even more commendable.

In addition, this is another passage that speaks of the “order of resurrections” for the saints; based on which dispensation they are a part of, 1 Cor 15:20-23.

1 Cor 15:20-23, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

Luke’s passage may allude to the Bravo and Charlie companies of believers, (Church Age and OT Saints respectfully, see chart in Diagrams and Maps), as noted above. Or, it may just be a generalization, as all believers are to keep watch daily, not knowing when the master / our Lord may return.

Psa 119:62, “At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances.”

Mat 25:6, “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him’.”

Mark 13:35, “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning.”

In Roman culture the watches were 6–9 p.m., 9 p.m. – 12 a.m., 12–3 a.m., and 3–6 a.m. If he was referring instead to the Jewish system of three watches the times would be 6–10 p.m., 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., 2–6 a.m., 6-10 a.m.

Nevertheless, Mark’s passage lends to not only the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta companies, but speaks geographically, as midnight may refer to Jerusalem time, yet for believers around the world the resurrection will happen in their own time zones in relation to Jerusalem’s time / midnight.

Next, we have, “and finds them so,” which uses HEURISKO once again. It means that upon Jesus’ 2nd Coming He finds the believer eagerly anticipating His return as demonstrated by their personal Divine Good Production.

This indicates that our major concern should not be the exact time of Jesus’ return. But what is truly important in the Kingdom is obedience and preparedness. Those who understand this will discover that they are indeed “blessed” by their returning Lord.

That is the promise to “those servants,” DOULOS, who are eagerly waiting for the Lord’s return. They will be “blessed,” MAKARIOS. This tells us of the promise that there is a special reward in eternity for those who are anticipating the Lord’s return, 2 Tim 4:8.

2 Tim 4:8, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

To “love His appearing” starts with believing that Jesus is the Savior / King / Messiah based on His First Advent. Yet, it also includes our discipleship post salvation. Are we serving God and man by producing Divine Good, the Fruit of the Spirit, or are we not? If we are, we will receive additional blessing that result in added joy and happiness in the eternal state. This is the context of what Paul states in Phil 3:11, “In order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” This is more than just being a part of it. It is the added blessings and rewards that accompany the resurrection for the mature believer.

Therefore, if you love the Lord’s appearing and look for the day when He returns, then when He comes, He will reward you with the Crown of Righteousness, and joy will flood your soul. The happy ones are those who are waiting for Christ, watching for the Master’s arrival with diligence. 

In addition, this is one of four Crowns the believer can be awarded at the BEMA of Jesus Christ. Each is an indestructible crown that will last forever and are tested by fire. They are all linked with living for the gospel of Christ, 1 Cor 9:23-26.

1 Cor 9:24-26, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim…”

The four crowns the Church Age believer can receive based on going forward inside of God’s Plan for their life include:

1) The Crown of Righteousness, which is given to the one who has loved His appearing which means it is a decoration for the attainment, perpetuation, and activity of spiritual maturity. This crown is presented to those believers who advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood, 2 Tim 4:8.

2) The Crown of LifeRev 2:10. This is one of two major awards. The other being the Order of the Morning Star, Rev 2:28. The Crown of Life is given for living the spiritual life inside God’s Power System (GPS), bringing maximum glorification to God. It is awarded to invisible heroes for maximum production of Divine good through the execution of the Plan of God with emphasis on invisible impact while persevering under trial. Also, in James 1:12.

Rev 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

3) The Crown of Glory for being willing to feed the flock of God, 1 Peter 5:1-4. This includes the Pastor-Teacher who is doing their job well in teaching the Word of God to their local assembly or beyond. It may also be available for others dedicated to providing for the Word of God to be taught.

4) The Crown of Rejoicing for the soul winners, 1 Thes 2:19.

1 Thes 2:19, “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?” Cf. Phil 4:1.

In addition, there is The Order of the Morning StarRev 2:26-28, which is the highest decoration for living the Christian life. This is awarded for the ultimate in impact through the application of Bible doctrine. The name is derived from the title of our Lord. In His strategic and tactical victory, He is called, “The Morning Star,” Rev 22:16.

Num 24:17, “A star shall come from Jacob (First Advent).

2 Peter 1:19, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns (Second Advent) and the morning star arises in your hearts.”

Those who are granted this reward will be given authority to rule in the Millennium, Rev 2:26-27, 20:4. Therefore, for the believer who is living their life daily in eager anticipation of the return of their master, Jesus Christ, they will be rewarded with these and other rewards to adorn for all of eternity.

The next two verses are paralleled in Mat 24:43-44. This is the third major parable in Luke 12. As the previous parable spoke of the return of the Master of the house and the servants eagerly anticipating his return, this parable reversed the specifics in terms of an unwanted thief, (this time representing the Lord Jesus Christ), and a head of the house (this time representing the believer) that might be unaware of the thief coming

6 21 20 - Luke 12 vs 39-44 - Be Ready for the Lord's 2nd Coming - The Good Steward of God is Faithful and SensibleVs. 39

Luke 12:39, “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.”

Right away this reminds us of 1 Thes 5:2-11, that speaks to the Rapture of the Church, with the Lord meeting us in the clouds of the air, followed by the Tribulation, “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” Cf. 1 Thes 1:10.

1 Thes 1:10, “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”

Anticipation of the Rapture for the Church Age believer must not overwhelm them. We need patience as the Lord prepares us for the event. James 5:7-8; Titus 2:13.

James 5:7-8, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord (Rapture). The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

Titus 2:13, “Looking for, (PROSDECHOMAI, vs. 36, expecting waiting with keen anticipation) that blessed hope (Rapture), and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”

See Diagrams & Maps and Doctrine on the Rapture of the Church and the various viewpoints on our website.

Be sure of this,” uses the Present. Active, Indicative of GINOSKO that means, “know, become aware, perceive, understand.” Our Lord wants us to understand this point of doctrine.

Master of the house,” is the Noun, OIKODESPOTES, οἰκοδεσπότης, is a compound word meaning “house ruler, master of a house or head of a household.” It depicts the one in authority over the household, as we are in authority over our souls to protect and defend it.

Had known at what hour,” OIDA POIOS HORA, “the thief” KLEPTES, as in vs. 33, where we get our word kleptomaniac from to describe someone with an obsessive desire to steal. With thief is “was coming,” ERCHOMAI once again, to indicate the impending arrival of the thief.

This is the example of the knowledge the believer is to have, along with readiness and preparedness to receive the thief. This reminds us of vs. 33, above.

Luke 12:33, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.”

It also represents the stealthy nature of the 2nd Coming of our Lord for those who are not expecting it when it happens. Cf. 1 Thes 5:1-11, as noted above; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15.

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

Remember the “Day of the Lord,” actually represents a time period of 1,007 years. It begins on the day of the Rapture of the Church, includes the Tribulation and the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ that is culminated in the destruction of the earth and heavens, where Jesus creates a new earth and heavens, Rev 21:1, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”

Rev 3:3, “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”

Rev 16:15, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”

This tells us that if we have foreknowledge of something, we are better prepared to receive it. As such, we have been given the foreknowledge of Christ’s imminent return, therefore we should be well prepared to receive it!

He would not have allowed his house to be broken into,” OUK AN APHIEMI DIORUSSO HO OIKOS AUTOS. Here, DIORUSSO, διορύσσω for “broken into,” is in the Aorist, Passive, Infinitive and means “broken into or dig through.” With clay or dirt mortar houses and walls in the ancient days, thieves would dig through or under the wall to gain entrance into the house or estate. It is only used in Mat 6:19-20; 24:43; and here. Each passage is a warning for not placing our confidence on the things of this world, but to have faith in God for providing all things, including our afterlife. In a negative example, this represents the believer who should be prepared and in readiness to receive the Lord at His Second Coming, as opposed to the believer who might be asleep, (i.e., not ready or looking forward to the coming of the Lord).

Vs. 40

Luke 12:40, “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”

Here, we are commanded to “be ready,” GINOMAI HETOIMOS, “be ready or prepared,” in the Present, Middle, and Imperative mood of command. We are to be prepared for the “Son of Man,” HUIOS HO ANTHROPOS, which is the familiar term Luke uses for the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 5:24; 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:22, 26, 44. His return is said to be “at an hour that you do not expect,” that uses the Present, Active, Indicative of DOKEO, δοκέω that means, “think, seem, suppose, or appear.” Therefore, since we do not know when the Lord is going to return, we are to always live in the imminent expectation of His return. Cf. Mat 24:42-44, 50; Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36.

Mat 24:42-44, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Mat 24:50, “The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know.”

Mark 13:33, “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.”

Luke 21:36, “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Therefore, the Lord Jesus will come again and at that time, He returns to get His servants and take them to His Kingdom. In addition, when He comes back in His Second Advent, He will condemn those who do not trust and follow Him. And the fact is; no one knows the day or the hour of His return. This last statement does not nullify our understanding that the Lord’s Second Advent, including the Rapture of the Church, will occur in the Fall time frame in fulfillment of the fall “Feasts of Israel.” As we have stated, the Lord fulfilled the first four Spring Feasts in His First Advent, therefore, it is certain that He will fulfill the last three Fall Feasts with His Second Coming. (See charts on our website for the “Feasts of Israel” and the Lord’s fulfillment of them). The point of “no one knows the day,” includes which year He returns, which we do not know.

Next, we begin the last section of the discussion on “Faithfulness,” vs. 41-46, where vs. 42-46, are paralleled in Mat 24:45-51, and vs. 47-48, are unique to Luke.  These verses show us that Jesus gave specific authority and power to those left behind to wait patiently and expectantly for His return. The two previous parables, vs. 35-38, 39-40, indicate that faithful waiting is important to the Christian way of life. Now, in this parable, the nature of this waiting is explained.

Vs. 41

Luke 12:41, “Peter said, ‘Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?’”

In Luke’s account, this begins with a question posed by “Peter,” PETROS, but in Matthew’s, it is part of a greater discussion on the “end times,” as Jesus was responding to a question posed by the disciples in vs. 3, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, (PAROUSIA), and of the end of the age?”, as He was teaching them privately on the Mount of Olives.

Peter’s address of Jesus as “Lord,” KURIOS, indicates his right relationship with Him. He recognized He was His Savior, Messiah, and King. The question of Peter was “is this for us, or for everyone else?”

Vs. 42

Luke 12:42, “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?’”

Jesus does not answer Peter’s question directly, but through this parable. As such, Jesus speaks of a “steward,” OIKONOMOS, “manager of a household or steward.” Therefore, though including the disciples, it is a broader category of people that Jesus is including. It speaks to those that have some kind of authority or responsibility inside the church. This does include the pastor or deacons, but also all members of the Body of Christ, as we are all Royal Priests and Royal Ambassadors, 2 Cor 5:20; 1 Peter 2:4, 9.

This is the first time this word is used in the NT. We will see it again in Luke 16:1-8; then it is also used in Rom 16:23; 1 Cor 4:1-2; Gal 4:2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10.

The steward was a position most often held by a slave, but sometimes by a freedman. The person holding this position was entrusted with the management of a house, the control of its cash receipts and expenditures, Luke 16:1-8; Rom 16:23, and the administration and appropriate care of the other servants, as in our verse, Luke 12:42. These managers even had responsibility for the care, wellbeing, and education of the children of the household who were not yet come of age, cf. Gal 4:2. In these verses, we see the characteristics that an OIKONOMOS must possess.

1 Cor 4:2, “In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” 

Titus 1:7, “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willednot quick-temperednot addicted to winenot pugnacious, (contentious, a brawler)not fond of sordid gain.”

1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

In our verse, the first use of the word, we have two main characteristics the steward should have. This person must be “faithful and sensible,” PISTOS KAI PHRONIMOS.

Faithful,” PISTOS means, “trustworthy, faithful, reliable, credible, trusting, or believing.” First used in Matthew’s gospel in this parable, and then in Mat 25:21, 23, Luke also uses it here for the first time in his gospel. He then uses it in Luke 16:10-12; 19:17. It is used extensively throughout the Epistles in regard to the faithful believer.

Mat 25:23, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’.”

In addition, it is a description of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as well as the Word of God in the NT, as taught in the OT, Deut 7:9; Isa 49:7. Therefore, the “believer” is to emulate this attribute of God, cf. 1 Cor 1:9; 4:2; 10:13; 2 Cor 1:18; 1 Thes 5:24; 2 Thes 3:3.

1 Cor 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Cor 4:2, “In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.”

Just as we can depend totally upon God because He is the Faithful One; others should be able to depend on us, as we will do what we say and fulfill what we promise, cf. Heb 10:23; 11:11; Rev 21:5; 22:6.

Sensible,” PHRONIMOS means, “prudent, sensible, shrewd, wise, or thoughtful.” It is related to the word PHREN that means, “mind or spirit,” and is used to describes one who “uses his head” and consequently is “sensible, prudent,” or regarded as “right in his mind.” As such, it means, “having or demonstrating sound reason and judgment.”

Its use in the NT, almost always accompanies the positive sense of being prudent. The parables teach that the PHRONIMOS man or woman is one who does Jesus’ Words and shows forethought by being prepared, especially in times of crisis. It also warns against yielding to the nonconstructive, disabling worry that often accompanies speculation about the uncertainties of the future. In our passage, it describes the ideal Christian servant characterized as one who does his job, in contrast to the “evil” man who neglects his duties and takes advantage of those in his care.

For the believer, we are expected to use our God-given reasoning capabilities as we live out our Christian life, but always with proper motives and purity, as the believer’s wisdom lies in his obedience to God’s Word. Therefore, the “sensible” steward uses his head to understand his master’s will.

In addition, the faithful and sensible steward will be used by God to serve His people, as it states, “whom his master (God or Jesus Christ) will put in charge (KATHISTEMI) of his servants (EPI HO THERAPEIA that also means, “healing,” Luke 9:11; Rev 22:2), to give them their rations (SITOMETRION, only used here in the NT, “ration of grain”) at the proper time? (KAIROS)’”

“Specific persons in the household (the Church) are given special privilege by the Lord. Such persons have been chosen because they are “faithful and wise stewards.” If that leader has faithfully carried out his task in the ways of the Lord, he shall be blessed at the return of the Master. The blessing is clearly related to being obedient. Such obedience will result in greater blessing and authority from the Lord (verse 44).” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary – Luke).

Therefore, the first thing the steward must do is proclaim and preach the gospel of salvation through Christ, with the utmost sincerity and humility. Then, as this verse indicates, “to give them their rations,” which means the steward is one who provides for the deliverance of the Word of God; whether it be the Pastor, Deacons, Evangelist, or congregants who are all Royal Ambassadors for Christ.

Acts 6:1-7, also shows the importance in the Early Church of caring for the widows and poor by providing food. 1 Timothy, a letter devoted to church structure and the requirements of church leaders, specifies the importance to look after the material needs of widows, 1 Tim 5, because they were incapable of earning money or being taken care of unless someone did it for them.

James indicates that it is easy to give special attention to those who are wealthy or prestigious and to ignore the poor, James 2:1ff., yet this is not according to the Plan of God. Therefore, it is the responsibility of church leaders, as well as all believers, as stewards of Christ, to care for orphans, widows, and those in affliction, James 1:27.

As such, faithful and sensible stewardship stems from recognizing our relationship to Jesus Christ, and recognizing our partnership in Christ’s enterprise on earth, Rom 12:9-13; 15:26-27; Gal 6:6; Phil 4:15; 2 Cor 8:4; 9:13; Heb 13:16; 1 Tim 6:18. As stewards, we must recognize that all we have belongs to the Lord and has been given to us as trusts from God to invest for His purposes. The Biblical perspective for the steward/church leaders consists therefore of the obligation to proclaim the gospel, to do so in humility, as well as taking special care of those who cannot care for themselves. The central passage on stewardship in the NT is 2 Cor 8-9.

1 Tim 6:18-19, “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

Vs. 43

Luke 12:43, “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

This is the third, “blessed” in this section, vs. 37, 38. Here, Jesus promises blessing upon the steward who carries out His wishes with faithful sensibility, as we have another use of “blessed,” MAKARIOS, indicating blessings and rewards in the eternal state given to the faithful and sensible steward, or “slave / servant,” DOULOUS, of God’s Word and plan for their life in time. This blessing comes to the believer when Jesus “finds” (HEURISKO) him “doing so” (POIEO HOUTOS) “when He comes,” (ERCHOMAI).

Therefore, upon the 2nd Coming of our Lord, the PAROUSIA, He will bless those servants who are doing their job in the service of the Lord. That means those who have taken their discipleship seriously by studying and applying the Word of God to their lives, along with utilizes their spiritual gift, in the ministry, and effect God has designed for them, as they serve others, will receive rewards at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ. This will occur in heaven for the Church Age believer after the Rapture of the Church; during the Tribulation time period.

Vs. 44    
Luke 12:44, “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

This is the promise of blessing in the eternal state. It speaks of promotion from a lower responsibility on earth to a higher responsibility in heaven.

Truly,” ALETHOS, “truly, really, certainly,” tells us that this is a promise God will keep. In Luke’s Gospel, it emphasizes the truthfulness, urgency, and authority of Jesus’ words, “truly I say to you,” ALETHOS LEGO HUMEIS, cf. 9:27; 21:3, in making this promise to the faithful and sensible believer.

The promotion to greater authority and responsibility is noted in “he will put him (KATHISTEMI) in charge of all his possessions (EPI HUPARCHO).”

In this parable analogy, when we are faithful and sensible here on earth as stewards of our Lord in the anticipation of His 2nd Coming, we will be blessed in the eternal state with greater authority than that given to us here on earth.

This is akin to Mat 25:21, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’.”

7 28 20-Luke12vs45-46-The Unfaithful Stewards Takes Advantage of Others in an Unjust & Unloving Way-The Unbelieving Steward Will Receive Severe Condemnation Hades and The Lake of FireYet, Vs. 45-48, The unfaithful steward will be condemned. Here, we have an example of the unbelieving servant. This reminds us that everyone is a child of God and is also a servant of God, even the unbeliever!

Vs. 45

Luke 12:45, “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.”

Remember, our Lord is speaking to Jews of the Jewish dispensation, even though this has application for the believer of the Church Age. In this parable, we have a contrast between a faithful believer and an unbeliever; “that evil servant.” This evil servant is an unbeliever in the Tribulation. What does the unbelieving Jew in the Tribulation say in his heart? The heart is not something you feel in or emote in, it is something you say, the heart is the brain that is to be used sensibly as noted in vs. 44. So, this unbeliever of the Tribulation says, “My lord is delaying his coming.” He is an unbelieving Jew, Messiah has not come, and he does not think he will anytime soon, so what does he do?

This passage begins with “but if,” DE EAN, which is a contrasting Third Class Conditional statement, (if and maybe you will and maybe you will not). Vs. 45, is the Protasis, the “if” statement, and vs. 46, is the Apodosis, the “then,” statement. These passages show what happens when the steward rejects God’s plan of salvation and lives for himself. Therefore, even though it is a third class if, it is treated like a 1st class if, “if and you do, then this will happen to you.” Here, the protasis contrasts the “faithful and sensible steward” of the Lord from vs. 42-44, with an evil “slave” (DOULOS) / steward.

That slave,” EKEINOS DOULOS, shows us that Jesus adjusted His terminology when comparing this unwise steward to his faithful and sensible counterpart. Both men serve their master’s interests, and both hold the rank of “slave” or “bond-servant.” Yet, in the first example, Jesus referred to the slave as a “steward.” However, in the second, the slave is never referred to anything more than a slave despite the power delegated to him. In Jesus’ eye there is no promotional opportunity for the evil steward.

DOULOS is used with the Subjunctive mood in the phrases “says in his heart,” “begins to beat,” and “eat, drink, and get drunk.” Note how the abuse began: the steward thought because his lord delayed his return, he could begin to abuse the other servants. He no longer felt any accountability toward his lord or the other servants, so he thought that he was autonomous and actually began to act as the lord of the other servants. He moved from leader to the usurped role of abuser.

This is an example of the false teacher of false doctrines, who has no accountability to the Lord in their mind, abuses their parishioners through the bully pulpit, and uses their ministry to create more and more wealth for themselves.

Says in his heart,” EIPON EN HO KARDIA, means in the mentality of his soul, the right lobe of his soul he is thinking evil thoughts or devising evil plans. This is a picture of the evil thoughts a man can have.

1) The first evil thought is that “My master (KURIOS) will be a long time (CHRONIZO, to delay, linger, or stay somewhere a long time) in coming (ERCHOMAI).” As such, he does not anticipate the Lord’s return that leads him to focus on self rather than on God or others.

This speaks of the mental attitude sins in this man’s thinking. Rather than being faithful and sensible, he is thinking in terms of sin. This is the person who is not looking for the return of the Lord at His 2nd Coming, because they did not come to know Him after His 1st Advent. In this parable, the wicked servant does not believe the Lord will return and is not looking forward to it. Therefore, they are not living faithfully and sensibly unto the Lord, as they are not trusting in Him for their logistical grace blessings in time, nor walking faithfully knowing the Lord will also provide for them in the eternal state.

Yet, for the positive believer, they know and are anxiously waiting for the Lord’s return, Heb 10:37, “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.”

2) The first evil thought leads to a second, which results in sinful action, “begins to beat the slaves, both men and women.” This shows that one mental attitude sin leads to another that leads to verbal and overt sins. This is the formula for compound sinning.

In this analogy, “begins to beat,” ARCHO TUPTO, (beat, smite, strike, sting, or wound), represents this steward as taking advantage of others, even those that have been placed under their charge. As such, this evil servant begins to bully and abuse his fellow servants. This beating can be verbal assaults with verbal abuse that wound the conscience of another, or some kind of physical abuse that the evil steward perpetrates on the other slaves.

Luke first used TUPTO in chapter 6:29. As such, our verse portrays the opposite of the faithful steward who instead of handing out a beating to others, is willing to take one from others.

Luke 6:29, “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also…” Although this is a picture of humility and patience, it is a greater picture of the justice of God wrapped in His love that the steward of God is to emulate. It is the image of one person who hits another. As the Scriptures tell us, the justice of God is “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21; Mat 5:38. Yet, our Lord tells us to not enact this justice on others and instead take the just punishment they deserve onto ourselves by offering them the other cheek. This shows the one who struck you the justice and love that God has towards them when He took on their sins upon the Cross. We all, as sinners, deserve the just punishment of our sins, but instead of enacting that just punishment on us, Jesus took that judgment upon Himself instead. This shows others the love of God while maintaining His justice in dealing with sin. As a faithful steward, we are to demonstrate the same love and justice towards others, so that they can come to know the Love and Justice of God for salvation. That is why we are to offer the other cheek. Therefore, the good steward cares for and provides for others, “their rations,” while the evil steward abuses them and takes advantage of them for their own benefit.

3) The third evil thought is of gluttony, which leads to three actions that demonstrate the sinfulness of this steward, “eat, drink, and get drunk.” It reminds us of the foolish farmer in vs. 19, who said to himself, “you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” This was contrasted with the Lord’s instruction to not worry about what we will eat and drink in vs. 22, 29.

Here, it represents the arrogant steward who is not anticipating the return of his lord and instead lives life for himself; he lives it up, as it were. “Eat, ESTHINO, drink, PINO, and get drunk, METHUSKOMAI,” speak to the excessiveness of life for the one who is without thought or care about the Lord and their relationship with Him. METHUSKOMAI is the passive form of METHUSKO and is related to METHUO, “to drink to intoxication.” It is only used here and in Eph 5:18; 1 Thes 5:7.

Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”

Both here and in 1 Thes 5:7, it is used as a warning not to live a wasteful lifestyle (ASOTIA – dissipation), especially in the light of the imminent return of Christ. Cf. Luke 21:34.

Luke 21:34, “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap.”

Therefore, these three examples speak to the sinful / wasteful lifestyle of the unbeliever who is not waiting for the imminent return of the Lord. If someone decides that the Lord may not return today or soon, then they start living for themselves. Yet, there are consequences for the unbeliever with this type of mental attitude and lifestyle, as seen in the next few verses.

Vs. 46

Luke 12:46, “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.”

Jesus speaks of His 2nd Advent when He says, “the master will come,” using the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb HEKO that means, “have come or be present.” So, we could say “He will have come” or “He will be present.” It is reminiscent of the OT “Day of the Lord,” and is used for The Day of the Lord that will come in 2 Peter 3:10, as will Jesus Himself come, 1 John 5:20, and ultimately the end of this age will come, Mat 24:14.

For the unbeliever, the coming of our Lord will occur “when he does not expect him,” which uses the negative Participle OUK with the Present, Active, Indicative of the Verb PROSDOKAO, προσδοκάω that means, “does not wait for, look for, anticipate, or expect.” It is used in the Gospel’s predominately for the “expected one” being the Messiah, which Jesus was. Here, the unbeliever will not be expecting the 2nd Coming of our Lord and will be caught by surprise, as now their judgment will follow. In their self-absorbed lifestyle, they will not be “tuned in” to the promises of the Lord’s return and will be caught by surprise when He does.

Interestingly, it is said here that the master will come on a “day,” HEMERA, when the unbeliever does expect, and an “hour,” HORA, he will “not know” OUK GINOSKO. This gives us a clue that the unbeliever of Tribulation will not know the day and hour the Lord will return, but in contrast the believer will know the day and hour and should be expecting Him; just as we should be expecting Him to return for the Church imminently.

Next, Jesus speaks of the judgment the unfaithful / unbelieving slave will receive. It also tells us that Jesus, as the Master / Lord of the slave, will do this judging. The judgment here is twofold: 1) “will cut him in pieces,” 2) “assign him a place with the unbelievers.”

“Will cut him in pieces,” is the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb DICHOTOMEO, διχοτομέω that means, “cut in two” It is only used in this narrative here, and in Mat 24:51. DICHOTOMEO in classical Greek is used for the ancient method of punishment by “cutting into pieces, sawing in two, or dismembering,” a convicted and condemned person. It was a punishment prevalent among ancient nations, 2 Sam 12:31; Dan 2:5; 3:29; Heb 11:37. With the context of our passage, some think it is figuratively used for “severe scourging or flogging.” Nevertheless, this definite punishment is part of the drapery of this parable, and does not necessarily indicate the exact nature of the punishment which will be inflicted upon the wicked. As such, it does indicate that the servant was killed by the returning lord and placed with the lot of the unbelievers. It is clear from the reference to “unbelievers” that the servant really does suffer being cut off from God.

Assign him a place with the unbelievers,” uses the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb TITHEMI that means “put or place,” with the Noun MEROS that means “portion, piece, or allotment,” and the pronominal use of the Adjective APISTOS that is translated, “unbeliever, unfaithful, or incredulous.” The placement would be first in Hades, the temporary holding place of unbelievers, but ultimately the Eternal Lake of Fire.

APISTOS, used as a substantive for “unbeliever(s),” is used to contrast the faithful, Luke 12:46; John 20:27; 1 Cor 14:22ff. As unbelievers, they stand in danger of God’s judgment, Rev 21:8.

Rev 21:8, “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Paul equated their condition with “blinded minds,” 2 Cor 4:4, cf. Isa 6:9-10; Mat 13:13ff.; Acts 28:26, as “unbelievers” actively deny God and reject the truth, Titus 1:15-16.

Titus 1:15-16, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

As we stated previously, in the context of our Lord’s discourse and parable, he is contrasting the disciples with the Pharisees who are also teachers of God’s Word; “stewards.” Yet, as we know, many of the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, were unbelievers because they rejected Jesus as their Savior / King / Messiah. Therefore, Jesus is speaking of the severity of the just punishment these stewards, who are unbelievers and unfaithful, will receive upon Christ’s 2nd Coming. They will ultimately be cast into the Eternal Lake of Fire, where all unbelievers will go.

See Hades / Sheol Charts

In the parallel passage of Mat 24:51, it has the variation of calling the unbelievers, “hypocrites,” which points to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, the Pharisees, and speaks of their response to their judgment, “in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 24:51, “And will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites (unbelievers); in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This is speaking about unbelievers, as also in Mat 6:2, 5; 8:12; Mark 7:6; Luke 12:56; 13:15.

Mat 8:12, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The Bible uses several different phrases to describe the Lake of Fire including; Furnace of Fire, Mat 13:42, 50; Flaming Fire, 2 Thes 1:7-9; Baptism of Fire, Mat 3:11-12; Unquenchable Fire, Mark 9:43, 48; Brimstone, Rev 21:8, Weeping and Gnashing, Mat 8:12; 13:50, Prepared for the Devil, Mat 24:41; Outer Darkness, Mat 8:12; 25:30; Torment forever, Rev 14:10-11.

The nature and characteristics of Hell include:

  • Hell is a place of unquenchable Fire, Mat 3:12; 13:41-42, Mark 9:43. The fire is literal. The Greek word PUR in Mat 13:42, is also found in Mat 17:15; Luke 17:29. When men developed a material that would not disintegrate in the flame, they selected the Greek word ASBESTOS. This word is used four times in the NT of “unquenchable fire,” Mat 3:12; Mark 9:43, 45; Luke 3:17. From this we understand that unquenchable fire does not destroy the body.
  • Hell is a place of memory and remorse, Luke 16:19-31.
  • Hell is a place of thirst, Luke 16:24.
  • Hell is a place of misery and pain, Rev 14:10-11.
  • Hell is a place of frustration and anger, Mat 13:42; 24:51.

The greatest teacher/preacher on hell was the Lord Jesus Christ. While He was on earth, He only spoke once about heaven in John 14:2, but He spoke 14 times in the Bible describing hell. In addition, there are 260 chapters in the NT and hell / judgment are either referred to or described some 234 times. If we were on a highway 260 miles long and on the highway there were 234 sign boards warning of danger, surely we would have brains enough to seek another road.

“Weeping and gnashing of teeth,” KLAUTHMOS, “weeping, lamentation, crying bitterly, wailing,” KAI HO BRUGMOS, “grind or gnash,” HO ADOUS, are symbols of extreme suffering and as such, are a description of the suffering of the unbeliever in the Lake of Fire. The term KLAUTHMOS, “weeping” especially signifies the kind of sadness one experiences during times of tragic loss, Mat 2:18; Acts 20:37. “Gnashing of teeth,” suggests powerlessness and despair; at the same time, it also implies that anger and wrath are its cause. This suffering for the unbeliever will have no end, Dan 12:2; Mat 3:12; 18:8; 25:46. This phrase is also used in Mat 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28.

Mat 13:42, “And will throw them into the furnace of fire (the Eternal Lake of Fire); in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 13:50, “And will throw them into the furnace of fire (the Eternal Lake of Fire); in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Some of these verses also use another figurative term for the Lake of Fire, i.e., “the outer darkness.” The “outer darkness,” EXOTEROS SKOTOS is used in Mat 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; cf. Luke 13:28; Amos 5:18-19.

Outer,” is the Adjective, EXOTEROS, used in a superlative sense in the NT to mean, “farthest or extreme.” It is the farthest point away from the presence of God and His Kingdom.

Mat 22:13-14, “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Mat 25:30, “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Luke 13:28, “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.” 

Amos 5:18-19, “Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, for what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light; 19As when a man flees from a lion and a bear meets him, or goes home, leans his hand against the wall and a snake bites him.”

It describes the Lake of Fire as the eternal holding place of all unbelievers. Cf. 1 Sam 2:9; Job 10:22; 15:23, 30; 18:18; 20:26; Isa 8:22; 2 Peter 2:4, 17; Rev 16:10.

1 Sam 2:9, “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail.”

Isa 8:22, “Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.”

Everything outside of the kingdom of God is darkness, for God is light, 1 John 1:5. As a symbol of judgment, darkness has a literal aspect, cf. Jude 13; 2 Peter 2:17.

2 Peter 2:17, “These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.”

Yet, the faithful/believing servant will be a part of the Kingdom of God and enjoy it for all of eternity.

Therefore, we understand the unfaithful / unbelieving servant will receive severe punishment at the Second Coming of our Lord. This begins with the 2nd Advent where all unbelievers, Jew and Gentile, will be cast into Hades. Then after the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, they will stand before Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment where they will be judged and sentenced to the Eternal Lake of Fire. The description of the severity of the punishment for rejecting Jesus as their Savior/ Messiah / King, is given in the following verses.

From the time of the cross there are seven major judgments in history:

  • At the Cross, the first judgment, Christ was judged for us. That is the basis of eternal salvation, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
  • The second judgment occurs in time and that judgment is rebound, 1 John 1:9. The believer rebounds for cleansing, 1 Cor 11:31.
  • The third judgment in history takes place after the Rapture of the Church and it has to do with the believer; the BEMA Seat Judgment of the believer’s works, the production of Divine Good, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10.
  • When Christ returns to the earth, Second Advent, we have the judgment of living Gentiles. We get this in the last half of Matthew 24.
  • The judgment of living Jews, Ezek 20. (Judgments four and five constitute the Baptism of Fire)
  • The Millennial reign of Christ, 1,000 years, at the end of which is the judgment of fallen angels, Rev 20:7-10.
  • The Great White Throne or the last judgment for all unbelievers since the beginning of time. This occurs at the end of the Millennium, Rev 20:11-15.

7 5 20-Luke 12 vs 47-50 The WordVs. 45-48, The unfaithful steward will be condemned. Here, we have an example of the unbelieving servant. This reminds us that everyone is a child of God and is also a servant of God, even the unbeliever!

Vs. 47,

Luke 12:47, “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.”

Here, we have the significance of the condemnation of the “slave / servant,” DOULOS, who has rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior / Messiah / King, and leads others to do the same.

Interestingly, this slave, “knew,” GINOSKO, γινώσκω in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, that means, “to know, become aware, perceive, understand, or be conscious of.” Here, they knew the Lord’s / Master’s “will,” the noun THELEMA, θέλημα, that means, “will, desire, purpose, or inclination.” By this analogy, this is the person who learned the Word of God and has responsibility to teach it to others.

1 John 3:23, “And this is his mandate, that we believe in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he has given to us a mandate.” This verse is the will or desire of God. It reduces the will of God to its utmost simplicity; i.e., that the entire human race believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Once saved, it mandates that all believers function under Impersonal Love of the Royal Family Honor Code toward all other members of the human race. Therefore, the main principle of God’s Will is for the unbeliever to be saved, and for the believer to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.

In Mark’s Gospel, “doing God’s will” is the supreme example of discipleship, Mark 3:35; parallel Mat 12:50; cf. Heb 13:21; 1 John 2:17. Then, Mat 7:21, indicates such action provides the proper credentials for entrance into the Kingdom.

Mat 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

The will of God the Father is for everyone to believe upon His Son for salvation. For the unbeliever to be obedient to God’s will, means they are obedient to Jesus by believing in Him as their Savior / Messiah / King.

Eph 5:17, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

1 Tim 2:3-4, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

God revealed His intentions to carry this out in the person of Jesus Christ, Eph 1:9, “He (God the Father) made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him, (God the Son).”

In this context, the will of the “master” KURIOS, is for everyone to come to salvation through the knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior, who is the Lord God. The slave who knew the master’s will, (i.e., believe in Jesus as your Savior), “and did not get ready or act in accord with his will,” is the one who has been given the information necessary to come to know Jesus as their Savior, but has rejected Him as such. This was the plight of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, as it continues to be the plight of the false teachers of religion who say that salvation is accomplished in other ways than simply believing in Jesus as your Savior.

Did not get ready” uses the negative Particle ME with the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative Verb HETOIMAZO, ἑτοιμάζω that means, “put or keep in readiness, or to prepare.” It means to, “get ready or prepare” for something. In this case, it means prepared for the 2nd Coming of the Lord, which begins by believing in Him based on His 1st Advent. This is the same imagery as the Virgins and their lamps. The believing virgins had their lamps prepared and were ready for the return of the Lord. The unbelieving virgins had no oil in their lamps and were not prepared for His return, Mat 25:10-12.

Mat 25:10-12, “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.”

“Or act in accord with his will,” in the Greek is E POIEO PROS HO THELEMA. God’s will for the unbeliever is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation. This slave did not do that. Instead, they rejected Jesus as their Messiah / Savior / King, and therefore did not receive salvation. They did not act according to His will.

Therefore, in the first part, the preparedness is to have their lamps filled with oil, which means hear or receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the second part is to believe it for salvation. Instead, these unbelievers, also called hypocrites in Matthew’s parallel account, do not give a true hearing to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do not believe upon it for salvation. Remember, God’s great command to Israel in Deut 6:4, called the great SHAMA, “Hear O’ Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” This is the Doctrine of the Trinity, and that Jesus Christ, who is Lord, is also God incarnate who took away the sins of the world, cf. Rom 9:5; Col 1:16-19.

John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” 

John 17:21, “That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Jesus Christ is the mechanism for salvation that the unbeliever rejects, as they do not give Him a hearing, nor do they believe upon Him for salvation.

Now, the consequence for those willfully rejecting God’s will and plan for salvation, is that they “will receive many lashes,” using the Adjective, POLUS, “many,” with the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb DERO, δέρω that means, “beat, strike, or scourge.” The original use of this word meant, “to skin or flay,” cf. the LXX use in Lev 1:6; 2 Chron 29:34; 35:11. It later developed into “to beat, whip, or scourge.” It was also used for our Lord’s beating/scourging prior to the Crucifixion, Luke 22:63; John 18:23. Interestingly, because man rejects the scourging Jesus received for the forgiveness of our sins and salvation, Isa 53:5, 10; 1 Peter 2:241 Cor 15:3, they will be scourged in the eternal Lake of Fire.

Isa 53:5, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” 

1 Peter 2:24, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

Isa 53:10, “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”

1 Cor 15:3, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” 

Now, remember the context here, “the one who knew God’s will and did not do it.” This has a special meaning in regard to those who are using the Scriptures but do not truly understand them or are falsifying them for some reason. This is the false teacher of false doctrines, which the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were.

Mat 23:13, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

They had the Scriptures, the Prophets, the Law, the Promises, etc., but misinterpreted them and even falsified them for their own purposes. These false teachers, just as all false teachers, will receive greater punishment in the eternal state.

Rom 9:4, “Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”

The doctrine of more severe punishment in Hell for the false teachers, comes from two directions.

  • The first is logical in that since there are different rewards for believers in heaven there must be different levels of punishment for those in Hell. James 1:12, 1 Cor 3:10-15; Rev 2-3, are verses that tell us of different rewards in heaven.

James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

  • The second direction is from the scriptures that emphasize greater condemnation in the Lake of Fire., Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:48; 20:45-47, (some manuscripts have it in Mat 23:14, but not the earliest ones). Notice the last phrase of Luke 20:47.

Luke 20:45-47, “And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples, 46“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 47who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation”.”

This is also stated in Mark 12:40. Greater condemnation is viewed as greater levels of punishment in Hell. This doctrine has few scriptures for comparison so many commentators skip over it and act like it is not even there. As such, there has not been a lot of discussion in theology about this topic.

The Greek word for “condemnation” is the word KRIMA that is the basic/root word for judgment. So, a greater/more extensive judgment is brought against these individuals.

Luke 10:14-15, is another passage that leads to the doctrine of greater judgment. In vs. 14, the word for judgment is KRISIS, which also means a decision made or sentence.

Luke 10:14-15, “But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you (those Israelites who reject Jesus Christ)15And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!”

This is a more severe judgement as seen in the next verse where there is a difference between an unfaithful servant and an ignorant servant. The ignorant still receives a beating, a “light beating” compared to what the unfaithful servant receives, but it is still a beating.

Vs. 48,

Luke 12:48, “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.”

In this verse, we see that the layman unbeliever will receive lesser punishment than the false teacher. In the first half of this verse, our Lord is once again using language of accommodation with imagery of ancient judicial punishments. Here, our Lord is speaking about an unbeliever who will also be sentenced to the Lake of Fire; yet receive less severe punishment in that place.

In this passage, we have a contrast of unbelievers, using the Greek contrasting Conjunction DE, “but.” In vs. 47, the unbeliever who had the Word of God and all the promises like Israel did, yet did not act upon them with faith, will receive a more severe punishment in eternity.

In this verse, we have another type of unbeliever. One that did not have as much of the Word and Promises preached or given to them, yet they did have the Gospel preached to them and still rejected it. This second group will still go to the Lake of Fire because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, but the punishment there will seemingly be less severe.

This is also a contrast of ignorance. Ignorance can mean unwittingly not knowing something or willfully choosing to ignore something. (See the Doctrine of Ignorance 3/24/07 and Doctrine of Ignorance 12/12/07  on our website).

The first servant had willful ignorance where they knew the information or had it made available to them and chose not to apply it, Rom 9:3-5.

Rom 9:3-5, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”

In the second example, the servant was ignorant, (ME GINOSKO – “did not know”), due to a lack of information, which is still no excuse, as in our judicial system where, “ignorance is no excuse for the law.” This means that regardless of one’s knowledge of the laws of the land, if you break the law you are guilty by it. Your defense can not be, “I did not know,” cf. Rom 10:3; Lev 4:2; 5:17-19; Num 15:27-29, with Num 15:30-31.

Lev 5:17, “Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.”

Num 15:29, “You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel (has knowledge of the Law) and for the alien who sojourns among them (does not have knowledge of the Law).”

Num 15:30-31, “But the person who does anything defiantly(having knowledge of the Law – willful ignorance) whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.” (Notice the more severe punishment for those committing willful sin.)

Rom 10:3, “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God”

The unbelieving Jews had the Law, prophets, Temple, etc., and chose not to apply it properly and distorted it, Acts 13:26.

Acts 13:26, “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him28And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed.”

The unbelieving Gentiles did not have the Law, but still had opportunity to know God and His plan of salvation, yet they rejected it too, Rom 1:19-22.

Rom 1:19-22, “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

So, we have several contrasting comparisons, for example: unbelieving false teachers vs. unbelieving layman; unbelieving Jew vs. unbelieving Gentile; willfully ignorant vs. unwittingly ignorant. Nevertheless, both will go to the Eternal Lake of Fire because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior, yet the first groups will receive a more severe punishment in that place compared to the second groups. 

“Committed deeds worthy of a flogging,” POIEO AXIOS PLEGE, uses judicial language in analogy to the spiritual realm. Remember, a person does not go to hell because of their “deeds.” They go there because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, where their name has been blotted out of the Book of Life, Rev 20:12, 15.

Rev 20:12, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.”

Rev 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, (cf. Rev 3:5; Psa 69:28; cf. Phil 4:3), he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.”

Flogging,” is the Noun PLEGE πληγή that means, “blow, stroke, wound, stripes, or plague and calamity.” It is predominately used in the book of Revelation for the various kinds of plagues that come upon the earth during the Tribulation. Luke used it in Chapter 10:30, for the parable of the Good Samaritan, and in Acts 16:23, 33 in the famous passage of bringing salvation to the Jailer and his family. And finally, Paul used it in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:23, regarding the beatings he took for the sake of Jesus Christ. In all, it speaks of inflicting punishment onto someone else. Here, the flogging is the judicial punishment by God accompanying the unbelievers’ imprisonment to the Lake of Fire.

The additional punishment / flogging this ignorant unbeliever “will receive (in the Lake of Fire is) but few.” The Greek uses the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb DERO once again that says, “will receive a beating,” with the Adjective OLIGOS that means, “little, small, short, or few.” So, we have, “will receive a little beating.” They still will be in the Lake of Fire for all of eternity, yet their agony will not be quite as severe as the willfully ignorant unbeliever.

Now, in the second half of this verse, which should have been its own separate verse, gives us our context, “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.”

This gives us the context of the entire passage and a response to Peter’s inquiry in vs. 41, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” The direct answer to Peter is “both.”

As we previously stated above, every member of the human race is a servant of the Lord and is accountable to Him for their life. Some people, like the Israelites, have been given much more information and promises from God, along with much more accountability. But, as we noted in the previous verse, even the ignorant, those not given as much information as the Israelites, are still accountable to God for their personal salvation and life.

“Everyone who has been given much,” is PAS HOS DIDOMI POLUS. This certainly is speaking to the people and nation of Israel who are God’s chosen people. Yet, it also addresses certain Gentiles who have been given much opportunity to learn and teach the Word of God. Like the Jewish Pharisees, there are many Gentile false teachers of false doctrines, who quote Scriptures, yet teach another Gospel.

“Much will be required,” uses POLUS with the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb ZETEO that means, “seek, look for, wish for, desire, inquire into or about,” PARA AUTOS. Therefore, it reads, “much will be sought or desired from him.”

As such, since certain groups or individuals have been given greater opportunities by God, He will seek diligently more from them, especially their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior / Messiah / King. If they are found without faith in Jesus, to the extent that God gave them more opportunity, He will discipline them all the more in the Lake of Fire.

Next, we have a repetition of the principle. Any time there is a double emphasis on something, it means it is a very serious issue.

“And to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” It uses KAI HOS PARATITHEMI POLUS, PERISSOS AITEO AUTOS

Entrusted,” is the Adjective PARATITHEMI from PARA, “beside,” and TITHEMI, “set or place.” So, it means, “set alongside, set before, or give someone something in trust; to entrust.” For example, in 1 Tim 1:18, Paul entrusted Timothy with the teaching and preaching of the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. He was therefore obligated to leave the doctrine intact and uncontaminated from non-Christian elements. In 2 Tim 2:2, Timothy was then to entrust those same doctrines unadulterated to other worthy teachers.

“They will ask all the more,” uses the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb AITEO, “ask, request, or demand,” with the Adjective PERISSOS that means, “extraordinary, profuse, or abundant.” So, this is a very much more request.

Once again, because God entrusted His Gospel to these people, which is a very high calling, He will also demand very much more accuracy in the application of it to themselves and others. He will demand that they believe it above and beyond all others. That is the context of the passages where Jesus says, “He does not know them and will not receive them,” Mat 7:23; 25:10-12; Luke 13:25-27; 19:22, etc.

Luke 19:22, “He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?”

Mat 7:23, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’.”

Luke 13:25, “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from’.”

Luke 13:27, “And He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from me, all you evildoers’.” 

Mat 25:10-12, “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.” 

The principle is, “those to whom God gives special knowledge and special opportunities also must realize they have greater responsibilities.” These “servants” were given tremendous responsibilities. The apostles did a good job with what they were given, where most of the Pharisees did not, and never came to salvation, nor directly led others to salvation either. Therefore, their punishment will be more severe than that of the average unbeliever.

But, let us also not lose the sentiment that amongst believers God is exacting based on what He has given to you. To whom much is given, much is required. Therefore, as Church Age believers, members of the Body of Jesus Christ and Royal Family of God, we have a greater responsibility to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to those lost and dying in this world and to the believer.

Click here for (Part 4 of 4) – The Gospel of Luke Chapter 12:  LUKE 12:49-59

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