Coming of the Lord. How wise are we concerning the coming of the Lord? I don’t mean how much theology and eschatology we know. I mean how wise are we concerning it? Are we dressed and ready? Have we turned the lights out? Are we anticipating the coming of the Lord? All I know is Jesus is giving a dire warning and we all need to be wise about the coming of the Lord and the end. We’ve made it a doctrine to argue rather than an event to anticipate and experience.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 12
The Coming of the Lord (Luke 12:35-48)
By Delbert Young
The Coming of the Lord by Delbert Young – Luke 12:35-48
Scriptures:Luke 12:35-38; Luke 12:39-40; Matthew 24:36-39; Luke 12:41-48; Acts 1:11
How do you feel about yourself concerning talents and abilities God has given you? Do you feel you’re a pretty sharp person and God has blessed you with much? Or, are you sort of dumb and left out? Where do you really shine? Or, do you do anything well? The reason I ask is today’s lesson deals with this.
Recall, Jesus is warning his disciples of the yeasts (leaven) of the Pharisees (12:1-3) which is hypocrisy – play acting as if one has a relationship with God and Christ, but does not. This “yeast” is extremely dangerous and can cause one to be damned for hell. Jesus continued warning of this hypocrisy yeast for thirty-four verses so far and continues in today’s lesson.
We will see Jesus connect ESCATALOGY – the study and belief of the end of time – with hypocrisy (play acting a relationship with God). An incorrect view of “the end” will cause hypocrisy. It’s not an incorrect theological or eschatological view causing hypocrisy. It’s an incorrect anticipation on how we live knowing the end could come that births hypocrisy. I’ll explain. How does eschatology affect my life today? Jesus shows us.
Another thought concerning eschatology is outside of the “end of time” we all have an “end time” like it or not. We need to be aware of our individual end and anticipate it not in a gruesome morbid way, but in awareness. We each have a limited time on this planet. I should be aware of how to make the most of my time. So should you. How are you using your limited time? If you believe in Jesus Christ then this is important.
We’ve all seen people attempt to appear busy when actually they were goofing off? Is this hypocrisy – play acting? In my manufacturing days my primary challenge as a supervisor was to keep people busy and productive. If they didn’t expect me they would, nearly all goof off. When they saw me coming they jumped up and appeared busy. They were hypocrites, right? Is our “goofing off” concerning the things of God then yeasts of hypocrisy? This is what Jesus warns.
Luke 12:35-38 “BE DRESSED READY for service and KEEP YOUR LAMPS BURNING, like men 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. IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THOSE SERVANTS WHOSE MASTER FINDS THEM WATCHING when he COMES. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will COME and wait on them. IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THOSE SERVANTS WHOSE MASTER FINDS THEM READY, even if he COMES in the second or third watch of the night.
Jesus is clearly referencing his coming again (5 uses of return, comes, come). There’s was a world of masters and slaves and very different from our world, so this is a bit of a challenge for us to grasp. “Be dressed ready” is saying don’t sit around in your pajamas concerning this. Don’t become comfortable with the times forgetting about the coming of the Lord, but don’t most do this? We forget the real importance.
He said, “Keep your lamps burning.” Jesus gave a similar story in Matthew 25:1-3 using “Ten Virgins,” or ten bridesmaids, five wise and five foolish. What determined the wisdom of the five was taking sufficient oil to keep their lamps burning, remaining out of darkness (1Thes 5:2). They waited and waited for him to come. Five gave out of oil and were not allowed into the wedding and feast. Jesus is saying, “Don’t turn out the lights and go to sleep on me. I’m coming. Remain in a place of readiness where you can see what’s happening.”
A wedding banquet was a common event and concept for them. There weddings were different from what we do. Invitations were given to those invited, but instead of being a specific day, it would say something like “the wedding banquet will be in the month of May. We will inform you when it begins.” With no caterers etc, food, drink, and preparations were accumulated. Once things were ready, the banquet began and lasted until all the accumulated food and drink were gone taking several days. No one knew exactly how long it would last, so no one knew when the master would come home, not even the master and that’s what Jesus meant when he said (Mat 24:36). He doesn’t even know when. However, he expected his servants to be anticipating the coming of the Lord and it would be good for those who did (double emphasis) no matter how long he was gone or how late he came – second or third watch – very late PM, or very early AM meaning a time not expected.
A primary point is no one knows exactly when, yet people cannot resist predicting when Jesus will return. I honestly don’t know how many predictions there’s been in my lifetime. But, doesn’t knowing the time defeat the purpose of watching and anticipating? Yet, people keep falling for predictions and buying books and being yeasted.
Luke 12:39-40 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. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour WHEN YOU DO NOT EXPECT HIM.”
One thing you can be certain of is if a day is predicted, that won’t be the day. There will be no “sign” to the coming of the Lord. Thieves do not send a message. Have you ever had your home broken into? We have, twice. The amazing thing is it was at a time we would never expect.The first time was while we were at church doing a Children’s Crusade. It was a great Crusade. Many children came to the Lord. Coming home we found thieves had broken intoour house. The second time was a Sunday while at church. I was preaching and Judy was singing with the Praise team. We wouldn’t think God would allow thieves to break into our home and take our priceless (to us) possessions. Surprise!
Jesus related it to the days of Noah.
Matthew 24:36-39 “NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THAT DAY OR HOUR, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and TOOK THEM ALL AWAY. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Some teach this is the rapture of the church. No. It’s a rapture of the wicked. It was a surprise to them. They were in their pajamas and lights turned off. Life was going along comfortably. SURPRISE!
Luke 12:41-48 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” 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? IT WILL BE GOOD for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 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. “THAT SERVANT who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will BE BEATEN WITH MANY BLOWS. 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.
Hypocrisy! First note, the judgment of God has levels. There is the wise manager who is rewarded. Then, one cut to pieces. Others are beaten with many blows, and others beaten with few blows. So, in this case which is better more or less (no matter what the cute AT&T commercial says)? If I’m interpreting this correctly we’re talking about more severe judgment when more is given and less severe judgment when less is given. These knew to do the master’s will, but did not do it.
Peter asked exactly to whom Jesus was speaking. Was Jesus continuing to speak only to his disciples (12:1), or had Jesus begun speaking to everyone? Certainly Jesus didn’t mean them! Did Jesus answer Peter? I think so. The answer to whom Jesus was speaking is everyoneproportionately to how much they’ve been given in understanding, responsibility, talents, etc, but specifically those given the most. I asked you at the beginning how much you felt you’ve been given. I doubt any of us said we were dumb and couldn’t do anything well. The question is how am I leveraging what I’ve been given in anticipation of the coming of the Lord?
Jesus answered Peter with, “Well, who is the faithful and wise manager?” How wise are you Peter? How wise are any of us? How wise are we concerning the coming of the Lord? I don’t mean how much theology and eschatology we know. I mean how wise are we concerning it? Are we dressed and ready? Have we turned the lights out? Are we anticipating the coming of the Lord? All I know is Jesus is giving a dire warning and we all need to be wise about his coming and the end.
Christians have become yeasted with the coming of Jesus, we’ve made it a doctrine to argue rather than an event to anticipate and experience. We’ve turned out the lights and put on our pajamas concerning the truth of his coming. We know a lot of theology and doctrines. There are so many doctrines out there – dispensationalist, pre-millennialism, amillennialism, post-millennialism, preterist, partial preterist, pre-tribulation rapture, post-tribulation rapture, mid-tribulation rapture, no rapture, spiritual rapture, tribulation, no tribulation. This has caused more yeasting and hypocrisy than anything I’m aware. I don’t know how much of this you need to know, but you do need to be wise about his coming. Here is one thing you need to know. Jesus will come back.
Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? THIS SAME JESUS, WHO HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, WILL COME BACK IN THE SAME WAY YOU HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.”
This is a very real, not a spiritual, coming back. This same Jesus will come back. This is what matters. I’m asked all the time my eschatology beliefs. My beliefs don’t matter and can yeast you. Theological eschatology only causes confusion and arguing where we get drunk on our theology and beat the menservants and maidservants of Jesus.
All that actually matters is how wise am I concerning the Lord’s coming back? If he were to come this moment when we are not expecting it, how would he find us? Is his coming anticipation or a doctrine of yeast? Would there be some chopping going on? Would there be a bunch of blows? Would there be few blows, or would it be good for me and you?
Luke 12:37-38 IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THOSE SERVANTS whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will DRESS HIMSELF TO SERVE, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THOSE SERVANTS whose master FINDS THEM READY, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.
I don’t deserve the God of the universe putting on an apron and serving me. Yet he will if I stay busy and properly anticipate his coming whether it is my personal end or his return and the end of time. So, the question becomes what has he requested me to do? What has he requested you to do?
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