1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Luke, Stewardship, Part III - Lesson 165


Luke 12:37-40,  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servantsAnd this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.


In our lesson two Sundays ago we learned that Jesus Christ intends to bless those servants whom he will find watching when he returns. 


He expects that those who are his stewards, those in whom he has placed his trust to carry out his commands, will be found faithfully doing those things till the time of his return. 


We have learned that stewards are keepers. 


They are to faithfully keep for the master, all with which they have been entrusted.


To these servants we have learned that Jesus Christ will come as a welcome, long yearned for master, a master who will bring blessings and who will personally gird himself to serve those who have been faithful.


However we also learn that Jesus Christ will return to some as though he were a thief, as though breaking into their houses with force and coming to rob them of all that they hold dear, for all that they hold dear is of this world. 


These are those who do not look for his appearing. 


These are those who do not watch for his appearing.


These are those who only see his appearing as bringing loss to them and indeed they will suffer loss for all that they have is temporal for they have not laid up treasure in heaven.


They are like the rich farmer who suffered loss by being taken by death from that which he held dear, that which God gave him but was never acknowledged as from God.


So we are given the parable of the “faithful watching steward” and the “unfaithful un-watching steward.”


After telling this parable to his disciples Peter responded by questioning his Lord as to whom this parable applied.


Luke 12:41‑44,   Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.


When I read Peter’s question another question of Peter came to mind that is recorded in John’s Gospel for I think it brings a similar response by Christ.


In John 21 Peter asked the Lord about John, his fellow disciple, and what John shall do in the future, in other words what is John’s ministry to be? 


Christ's response to Peter in that incident is similar to how he responds to Peter here in Luke 12.  For he says in:


John 21:22,   ….If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.


In other words the instruction to Peter is to concentrate on your faithfulness, concentrate on being a faithful steward. 


You are not to worry about other servants of mine but you are to follow me. 


You are not to measure yourself among yourselves and worry whether others are carrying their load, you are to make sure that you carry your load.


Never mind asking questions stemming from idle curiosity. 


What you should do is try very hard to be a faithful and levelheaded manager of that which I give you to manage. 


In other words you are to hoe your own row and not measure your row by other’s rows!


This question in Luke 12:41 by Peter seems to indicate that Peter is trying to determine if there will be unfaithfulness within his small group of disciples.


Or can he count on the small group of disciples being faithful by bringing into the mix those outside the group to fulfill the unfaithful role. 


We see here a effort on Peter's part, which is not approved by the Lord, for Jesus does not answer Peter’s question directly but continues his emphasis on the faithful servant by asking a question himself. 


Who then is that faithful and wise steward?


This is what you are to concentrate upon Peter, not whether or not any of you will fail!  

He that hears me will be that faithful and wise steward. 


He will not be the householder who does not look for the master but he will be the faithful steward who has invested his life in the master’s house.


He will heed and hear the warning and the encouragement of the Lord.


The Lord’s question implied to Peter that he needed to think further, based upon what He said.


He needs to realize that the reward of the “good waiter” is expressed in terms of stewardship, not money, not trophies, not plaques not even rest and recreation and certainly not retirement. 


The good waiter will not be given less duties but more duties, more opportunity to serve. 


That is the Master’s reward for faithful service.


The reward of the faithful steward is to continue his stewardship in eternity, but with greater responsibilities.


44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 


The faithful steward will not be given a big retirement package but he will be given greater responsibilities in service to his master.


The faithful steward is rewarded for being found doing now what he will be doing later.


It appears that the steward’s promotion in the kingdom is to be in charge of the very same kind of ministry he has had in this life but with greater responsibilities.


This is not an isolated teaching for Christ also taught the same thing when he told his disciples of the three servants who were given five talents, two talents and one talent each.


The two servants who were faithful to gain a profit for the master were given more talents with which to invest for the master, however the one who hid the talent lost that talent and also lost his life.


So the message that Christ is giving here is that faithful servants get to continue that faithfulness in the kingdom but continue it with a greater breathe of responsibility.


These words of encouragement are best understood when they are contrasted with the words of warning which the Lord Jesus Christ speaks in verses 45‑48.


Luke 12:45‑48, But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.


In this parable the Lord Jesus returns to the example of the servant and his master, but this time the servant is a wicked unfaithful servant.


He is a servant who does not eagerly await his master’s return, nor is his lamp lit, nor are his loins girded up. 


In other words — he is not dressed for service.


The Lord warns his disciples and this warning has also been left for our learning so we must perk up our ears and take any warning seriously so we will not be appointed as among the unbelievers.

The parable here is a very simple one.


A servant’s master has gone for some period of time and it appears that it may be a considerable time before the master returns.


The servant is a steward, in charge of both men and women servants.


From the Lord’s words above in verse 42 it would seem that this steward has been put in charge of feeding the servants.


The steward is convinced that the master will not return for a long time.


He therefore decides to use his master’s possessions for his own pleasure, rather than to use them as he was commanded to do.


This is a picture of most people in the world who do not acknowledge that God owns all things and that they own nothing. 


So they use all that God has provided for their own pleasure and none for God’s pleasure .


The steward of this parable indulges on the food and drink, consuming the supplies that were meant for others, while at the same time he abuses the servants under his authority.


That man, Jesus said, would be cut into pieces and would be assigned to a place with unbelievers.


He then concludes by laying down the principle that judgment is meted out in proportion to the knowledge which one has received and rejected. 


For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.


In other words what does a servant do with the light that he has been provided?


Now this servant has been provided light but he has not used that light for the master’s profit and therefore his destiny is with the unbelievers.


The thing that we learn from this parable is that all men have been placed on this earth to bring forth fruit for God as God is the husbandman and desires fruit from all that he has created. 


Those who do not bring forth fruit are cast into the fire and are burned.


In the account of this event in the book of Matthew we learn the  this unfruitful steward is assigned to a place with the hypocrites and that there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


It is obvious that the destiny of this wicked servant is hell for hell is a place of torment, a place where weeping and gnashing of teeth is an eternal occupation.


Hell is the place where unbelievers, unfruitful servants are sent.


Hell is the place of punishment and this is where this servant ends up.


This contrast that the Lord has presented here could be a contrast between Israel and the church if we see his church as the faithful steward, joyously looking for his return and if we see Israel as the wicked steward who rejected his first coming and therefore has no reason to look forward to his second coming.


The nation Israel was given great privileges and responsibilities.


Israel was the nation through whom “light” was to be shed abroad to the nations.


Israel was the steward through whom the Scriptures were given to the world.


Israel resisted it all the way and consumed its blessings on itself.


It had no heart for the master nor the master's profit.


Israel not only abused the Gentiles, they abused their own, they abused their prophets whom God had sent for their welfare.


The last two verses of our passage, Luke 12:47‑48 are especially significant when viewed in the light of the fact that unbelieving Israel is the unfaithful servant.


47And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.


Judgment, Jesus taught, was meted out according to knowledge.


Greater knowledge meant greater punishment, for those who rejected it.


Israel had that greater knowledge and thus her discipline and punishment will be greater as well.


Here is a principal that we can learn from these parables




Those who will eagerly await our Lord’s return are those who have eagerly accepted His first coming.


Those who did not receive Jesus as the Messiah, will surely not look forward to His return as a welcome event.


But those who have received Jesus Christ and welcomed him as the sin-bearer of God and their Savior will surely look forward to the coming of His kingdom and to the glories of heaven.


Being saved makes all the difference in the world as to what kind of steward you will be, the welcoming steward or the steward who uses all that the master has given for his own selfish benefits.