Vol. 19, No. 23 – June 21, 2020
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
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 Doctrines on the Rapture of the Church and the various viewpoints on our website. http://gracedoctrine.org/diagrams-and-maps/ & http://gracedoctrine.org/rapture-of-the-church/
“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).
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.
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?”
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-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not 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.”
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.
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’.”
Yet, the unfaithful steward will be condemned, vs. 45-48a.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-062, 20-063, 20-064
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!