The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Tola Fisher. Tola Fisher is the editor of Premier's Woman Alive magazine and an opinion columnist for The Independent Voices. In 2019 she delivered a TEDx Talk called "Debunking the Myth of Success" and her first book, Still Standing - 100 Lessons from An Unsuccessful Life is now available on pre-order ahead of official release in June this year. 

Luke 12:35-59

Watchfulness

35 "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

41 Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?"

42 The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 "The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Not Peace but Division

49 "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Interpreting the Times

54 He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It's going to rain,' and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It's going to be hot,' and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?

57 "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."

Reflection

When I was about 10, visiting my cousins, we played with one of their neighbours, a boy who was the same age as me. I remember thinking he was really cool so I was elated when he started talking to me, but then he asked, "Are you saved?" At that time I had no idea what that meant, but it seemed really important to him so I knew that I wanted my answer to be "Yes."
This passage reminds me of that interaction and that those who have accepted Christ as saviour have a responsibility that is so much more than just enjoying our own newfound relationship with God. We read in verse 35, "be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning". In John 8:12, Jesus calls himself the "Light of the world" and when we follow him, it's almost like he's holding out a lamp to us and we then continue shining that light in our daily lives; keeping our lamps burning.

In this chapter, Jesus is speaking before a large crowd. Verse 1 says "thousands were milling about and stepping on each other", but we read in verse 22 that Jesus has turned to his disciples to address them specifically. So Peter asks him if the illustration is just for the disciples or everyone there. I love that Jesus' reply, "A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them", depicts both believers and non-believers as "servants". His disciples were "saved" and he was about to send them out in the world to do the same for others. God is the only master here and he calls his disciples to feed God's sheep (John 21:17). And that is still the call on our lives today.

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