35 ”Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.
36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
37 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.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
39 And 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.
40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”
WHAT IS A SERVANT?
The Greek word for servant is diakonos [deacon] which properly means “to kick up dust”, as one running an errand.
The legal meaning of “servant” is one over whom the Master has control. Any person subject to the orders of another while acting pursuant to such orders is a servant.
The relationship of “master” and “servant” depends, not on the exercise of control over work, but the right to exercise such control.
The test of who is a “servant” is whether the work is rendered by one whose physical conduct, time, and activities in performance of duties are controlled, or are subject to the right of control by the Master.
The word “goodman” in verse 39 means the master of a household; husband. A familiar appellation of civility, equivalent to “My friend”, “Good sir”, “Mister,”—sometimes used ironically.
The passage we have this morning consists of two short teaching parables. Both give advice to servants concerning the return of the Lord.
Here, we see, that a servant must:
1) be prepared or be ready;
2) be prepared for the Lord’s unexpected return from a wedding feast; and
3) be prepared for the unexpected break-in of a thief.
The “wakeful” servant is the “blessed” servant, for the Son of Man will return unexpectedly. There will be no time to get ready in that day, and speculation over when that might be is fruitless, so be prepared to meet Him!
This passage falls within a wider section that deals with the coming of the kingdom and judgment (Luke 12:35-13:21).
Unlike the following episode which encourages church ministers to serve faithfully, (Luke 12:41-48), this particular episode is addressed to all believers and encourages readiness and wakefulness.
A Judgment Theme Dominates The Section
Here, we see Jesus just answered a question over inheritance rights and this leads to the observation that “life does not consist in the abundance of possessions”, given that the person who dies with the most toys doesn’t actually win!
The person who wins, the person who is most secured, is the person who seeks the kingdom, (v. 31), whose treasure is in heaven, (v. 33).The nature of this readiness is shaped by the preceding passage, Luke 12:22-34. The call to readiness is linked to the unexpected coming of the Son of Man, v. 40.
BE READY FOR THE COMING LORD
The cross-reference of this verse is found in 1 Peter 1:13 which says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1. A journey to go;
2. A race to run;
3. A warfare to accomplish, and
4. A great work to do.
That is, be vigilant against all your spiritual hazards and foes, and be temperate and modest in eating, drinking, apparel, recreation, business, and in the whole of your behavior.
Be sober-minded also in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves.
“And hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Hope perfectly, trust without doubting to that grace which is now offered to you by the Gospel.
Learn And Put These To Mind:
1. The main work of a servant of the Lord lies in the right management of his heart and mind;
2. The faithful servants have a need to be exhorted to sobriety;
3. A servant’s work is not over as soon as he has gone into a state of grace; and
4. A strong and perfect trust in God’s grace is very consistent with our best endeavors in our duty.
Therefore, the security of an authentic Christian life is found in the kingdom of God, not in the things of this world.
It is essential to maintain this focus in the kingdom, in Christ Jesus, and not be distracted by “worldly mammon”, such that when the Lord returns we are not caught with our girds down and find ourselves out in the cold, as it were.
The message here is simple enough, “since the parousia (return) may take place at anytime”; the servant must be on the look-out at all times.
THE BLESSED SERVANTS
At this point, we move into application since it does not describe the “the blessed servants”
V. 37-38, normal behavior toward a master,” nor even a special reward for duty, but only the exceptional behavior of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Blessed are those servants…”
Those who are ready for the Lord’s return, who has maintained their faith in Christ, are indeed “blessed,” for they will receive the blessings of the kingdom.
“Blessed are those servants,” who, after having waited long, continue in a waiting frame, until the hour that their Lord comes, and are then found awake and aware of His first approach, of His first knock, and again in v. 38.
“Blessed are those servants”, for then will be the time of their preferment. Here is such an instance of honor done them as is scarcely to be found among men: “He will make them sit down to meat, and will serve them.”
For the bridegroom to wait upon his bride at the table is not uncommon, but to wait upon his servants is not the manner of men; yet the Lord Jesus Christ was among His disciples as one that served, and did once, to show His condescension, gird Himself and serve them, when He washed their feet(John 13:4-5).
This signified the joy with which they shall be received into the other world by the Lord Jesus, who is gone before, to prepare for them, and has told them that His Father will honor them (John 12:26).
THE WATCHFUL SERVANTS
Watchfulness emphasizes our inability to foresee the arrival of the Son of Man and therefore our need to hold firm to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are therefore kept at uncertainty concerning the precise time of His coming that we may be always ready, wakeful, watchful and faithful.
The goodman of the house, if it had known what hour the thief would have come, though he were ever so careless a man, would yet have watched, and have frightened away the thieves, v. 39.
But we do not know at what hour the alarm will be given us, and therefore are concerned to watch at all times, and never to be off our guard.
If the good man of the house had notice of his danger of being robbed such a night, he would have stood up and saved his house.
If men will take such care of their houses, O let us be thus wise for our souls!
Be ye therefore ready also, as ready as the good man of the house would be if he knew what hour the thief would come.