Jul 08, 2018 | Lee Becknell

A Faithful and Wise Manager

    A man died and went to heaven.  He was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter who led him down the golden streets.  They passed stately homes and beautiful mansions until they came to the end of the street where they stopped in front of a rundown cabin. The man asked St. Peter why he got a hut when there were so many mansions he could live in.  St. Peter replied, “I did the best with the money you sent us.”

    * We laugh and joke about heaven but it does make sense to be prepared for eternity!

    Theme: “If Jesus is coming again, then you and I must be ready. We must be faithful. We must take our responsibilities seriously and not fall into self-indulgence and a life of luxury.  I chose to believe Jesus and to take his words seriously. Will you join me and prepare for a world to come?”

    * I have been preaching sermons on the difficult teachings or statements made by Jesus Christ.

    * This morning’s text is a doozy! 

    * Beloved, I don’t know about you but when I read about Jesus beating or cutting servants into pieces, I just don’t know what to do with it.

    * Our generation shuns words like "duty" and "obligation."

    * America is awash with the theory that corporal punishment of children is equal to child abuse. So the idea of beating ANYONE is repugnant. Let's not judge Jesus' words by Twenty-First Century values, but by standards of his time. Using rods to punish was extremely common. Fathers would discipline their children with a rod; masters would discipline their servants with a rod.

    * Ask God to meet with you as we study the Bible. Please make this book come alive for us. God please help us understand your words!

    * The New Testament speaks about the fact of the second coming of Christ not the exact day. The importance is the day not the time. If we are wise, we will be prepared for any time.

    * We believe Jesus is coming because the Bible tells us He is coming. 

    * With this in mind, I would like to share with you the following lessons.

    1. A clear command.

    * I love the way Jesus doesn't really answer Peter's question.  We should learn this! Instead, he shifts to a pair of parables about head servants charged with caring for servants under them. One positive and one negative.

    Luke 12:35, 40 “Be dressed ready for serviceand keep you lamps burning, 36like 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.  40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

    * A call to be a ready servant!  If we are required to wait, then you and I had better learn how to do it right.

    * Luke gives us a picture of how servants should live. Be ready to open the door when the master knocks at the door.

    * To understand this text better we need to understand the practice of marriage during the day of Jesus Christ.

    * The groom would first have supper with his friends, and then he would go to the bride’s home to claim her.  The two would return to his home and continue the wedding celebration with the bride’s family in attendance.

    * Although it might be late, the master would expect his servants to be waiting and ready for him.

    * Be dressed ready for service. Watching when he comes, He expects you to open the door.

    * The steward isn't just anyone, but one whom the master appoints to this leadership function. The verb, "to assign someone a position of authority, 'appoint, put in charge.'

    * The main duty mentioned here is to give his fellow servants their food allowance at regular stated intervals.

    * The steward that Jesus holds up for acclaim is not doing something particularly flashy or creative. He is just continuing to do his duty, day after day, without fail, without forgetting, without unexplained lapses. His virtue is faithfulness. You can count on him

    1. It will be good for a servant to be found faithful

    Luke 12:42-44, “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.44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

    * Meanwhile, until that day comes, Jesus says that God is going to hold us responsible for what we do with all the things that God has given to us.

    * The better we do the greater the prospect of honor and future responsibilities.

    James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    * Hidden in this passage Jesus gives a glimpse of how the Master will receive a faithful servant.  Most miss this and overlook a Heavenly secret.

    * In verse 37, we find the master putting on the attire of a servant and directing his faithful ones to recline at the table and let Him serve them.

    Luke 12:37, “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.”

    1. Some servants will be punished for their lack of preparation

    Luke 12:45-47, “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.46The 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.”

    * Beloved, this is very scary to me.  That servant will be beaten with many blows.

    * Jesus has told a parable about a faithful head servant to show the rewards of faithfulness. Now he makes the servant abusive in order to indicate the punishment for unfaithfulness.

    * The unfaithful steward is assigned the portion or reward of the unbeliever, the faithless.

    * Notice that we receive this punishment for two reason (verse 47).  1. We know but do not get ready 2. We know but do not do.

    * The religious man will find himself more strictly judged on that final day.

    * Instead of acting as a servant, the head servant is acting as the master and taking upon himself a master's prerogatives to discipline.

    * He is prideful.  Thinking himself more important than he really is!

    * He is indulging his whims. Moreover, the head servant has abandoned the self-discipline that got him appointed head servant in the first place. He gorges himself with food and wine, and goes about drunk rather than sober. Drunkenness is the very opposite quality of being wakeful and watching that the initial parables stressed (12:35-38).

    * I see three very dangerous qualities in this life style.

    1. Procrastination. Verse 45, “…My master is taking a long time in coming…” Tomorrow is the Devils favorite word.
    2. Lack of respect for others. Verse 45, “…and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants…” Look at the lack of respect for others in our society today.
    3. Laziness, interested only in personal fulfillment. Verse 45, “…and to eat and drink and get drunk.”

    * You have to deal with Laziness.  Proverbs 26:14, “Lazy people turn over in bed. They get no farther than a door swinging on its hinges.” Good News Translation

    * There is no place for slothful ease in the life of a believer. Blanket victory.  If the blanket can defeat you, anything can defeat you.

    * The unfaithful servant now lives for himself and not his master. He neglects his responsibilities toward his fellow servants, and, instead, looks to his own comfort and luxury, signaled by "eating and drinking." I wonder about the self-indulgent luxury that we Westerners display to the world.

    * I had better find out what it means to be ready. I will be watching for you. Lynn looks for me to come home.

    * I want to serve God's purpose in my own generation. I want to be a faithful servant. I want to be trustworthy among men, and trusted by my God.

    A handsome young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the old farmer asked for his qualifications, he replied with an air of confidence, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” The statement puzzled the farmer. But he liked the pleasant looking young man nevertheless and hired him.

    A few days later, the old farmer and his wife were rudely awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The farm tools had been placed neatly in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn was properly locked. Even the animals were calm. The young man slept soundly. All was well. The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man’s words, “I can sleep when the wind blows “.

    Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke loose. So when the wind blew, he was fearless. He slept in peace.

    How does this apply to our lives?

    In Time, it isn’t the things you do, but the things you leave undone, which give you a heartache at the setting of the sun.

     

     

     

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