Luke Chapter 12 Second Continued
Luke 12:39 “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.”
The last lesson, we were studying about how we should be watching and working continually, expecting the Lord to come back. Perhaps, if some people knew just exactly when the Lord’s return will be, they would do worldly things until just a few days before and then turn to God at the last moment.
The exact day and hour of the Lord’s return for the Christians is not known, even by the angels in heaven. The Christians will know the coming is near, but not the day and hour. People throughout the ages have picked out a particular day and predicted the coming of the Lord.
Luke 12:40 “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”
“At an hour when ye think not”: (21:34; Matt. 24:36, 42-44; 1 Thess. 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15).
Jesus is coming back for a people that are without spot or wrinkle, and He is coming like a thief in the night. The hour we least expect His return is when He will come. I believe all true believers in Christ feel that His coming is near.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 lets us know that the Lord’s return is eminent. It speaks of the last days and then describes our day perfectly.
Luke 12:41 “Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?”
Several times Peter had a knowing that Jesus was truly Lord. In this verse, Peter is calling Jesus Lord; and he asked Jesus, are you just our Lord or are you everyone’s Lord? Peter, you remember, had called Him Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Luke 12:42 “And 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?”
Christ did not directly answer Peter’s question (verse 41), but implied that these truths apply to unbelievers, most of all those to whom much has been committed (verse 48).
Luke 12:43 “Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”
“Blessed is that servant”: The faithful steward pictures the genuine believer, who manages well the spiritual riches God has put in his care for the benefit of others, and the careful management of the master’s estate. Faithful expression of the duty of such spiritual stewardship will result in honor and reward (verse 44).
Luke 12:44 “Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”
We see in this a teaching which many have taken to mean that you earn your way to heaven. That is not at all what this is saying. We are saved by grace and grace alone, less anyone should boast.
We see from this that those who are saved are rewarded, if they have lived a life pleasing to God. These rewards will vary as to the amount of sacrifice and service the saved have done. As we said above, watch and be ready for the return of the Lord. But be found going about the Father’s business to the end, and great rewards will await you.
Luke 12:45 “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;”
“To beat the menservants and maidens”: This wicked steward’s unfaithfulness and cruel behavior illustrates the evil of an unbelieving heart.
Luke 12:46 “The 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.”
“Cut him in sunder”: I.e., utterly destroy him. This speaks of the severity of final judgment of unbelievers.
No one knows the exact hour our lives will end. Some do not live beyond infancy, and others live into their 80’s and 90’s. Truly we do not know at what moment our life will be over. This is speaking of the return of the Lord in the sky. So many people in our day who seem to be living godly lives a few years ago have wandered away and are compromising with the world.
Many ministers would have us believe that if we are baptized, we can live any way we want to and we will be saved. This is not what we read above. Those whose faith weakens and they stop looking for the Lord’s return and start living like the world should examine their selves and quite possibly were never saved in the first place.
Luke 12:47 “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].”
The degree of punishment is commensurate with the extent to which the unfaithful behavior was willful. Note that ignorance is nonetheless no excuse (verse 48). That there will be varying degrees of punishment in hell is clearly taught (in Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; Mark 6:11; Hebrews 10:29).
To know to do good and not do it is a terrible sin. Many people believe that all there is to Christianity is receiving Jesus as Savior. Jesus must be Lord of our lives; and we, like Jesus, must say, Lord, not my will but thine be done. We must live by His will and not ours.
Christians will be judged even harder than the world, because they know the will of the Lord. Judgment begins at the house of God. Great punishment comes to those who knows better and still sin.
Luke 12:48 “But 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.”
Just as there are degrees of rewards in heaven, there seems to be degrees of punishment. If God has revealed great truths to you, you are responsible to live at whatever level of understanding He has given you.
From this sense, the apostles would have been held more responsible for their actions, because they were in the very presence of the Truth (Jesus Christ).
Luke 12:49 “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?”
“Fire”: I.e., judgment. For the connection between fire and judgment (see Isaiah 66:15; Joel 2:30; Amos 1:7-10-14; 2:25; Mal. 3:2, 5; 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:7-8).
The fire that Jesus brought was the fire of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus says in the last part of this, I wish this fire of the Spirit was already kindled in the people.
Luke 12:50 “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”
“A baptism”: A baptism of suffering. Christ was referring to His death. Christian baptism symbolizes identification with Him in death, burial and resurrection.
“Straitened”: “Sorrowful, even unto death”: His anguish had nothing to do with fear of men or the physical torments of the cross. He was sorrowful because within hours the full cup of divine fury against sin would be His to drink.
“Till it be accomplished”: Though distressed about His coming passion, it was nonetheless the work He came to do, and He set His face steadfastly to accomplish it.
Jesus is speaking prophetically of His baptism of suffering on the cross. Jesus was fully aware of His trip to the cross.
Luke 12:51 “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:”
“I tell you, Nay”: Though the ultimate end of the gospel is peace with God (John 14:17; Rom. 8:6), the immediate result of the gospel is frequently conflict. Conversion to Christ can result in strained family relationships (Matthew 10:35-36), persecution, and even martyrdom.
Following Christ presupposes a willingness to endure such hardships (Matt. 10:32-33, 37-39). Though He is called “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6), Christ will have no one deluded into thinking that He calls believers to a life devoid of all conflict.
Luke 12:52 “For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.”
Those who accept Jesus as their Savior sometimes are suddenly alienated from their families. This is what is meant by 3 against 2 in one family. There are only two sides to this war that Jesus is talking about here: the flesh and the Spirit.
Another way to draw the line between the two sides is God (spirit), and flesh (man). We read also, that many times your enemies are those of your own household.
Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes [shall be] they of his own household.”
Luke 12:53 “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
This is a further explanation (of verses 51 and 52). In fact, it is very difficult to minister to your own family. Jesus’ half-brothers did not really accept Him until after He was resurrected.
Luke 12:54 “And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.”
As primitive as their method of predicting the weather was, their ability to discern spiritual matters was worse. They had the long promised and long-awaited Messiah in the midst and refused to acknowledge Him.
Jesus was saying to them, signs that you can see with your eyes, you understand; but the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures in your Bible, you do not understand. Throughout the Old Testament, God warned of the signs of the times.
Luke 12:55 “And when [ye see] the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.”
These people easily pick on the signs of good or bad weather. They have noticed that when clouds come from the west it usually rains. They have also noticed that with strong south winds comes a warming trend.
Luke 12:56 “[Ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?”
The world is truly unaware of how close the time is to the return of the Lord.
We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
You can easily see a separation here. The people of the world will have no idea when Jesus will return for His own. The Christians (children of the Light), are not in darkness. They will know that the Lord’s return is soon.
Luke 12:57 “Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”
Jesus is telling them, even you can judge right from wrong.
Luke 12:58 “When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, [as thou art] in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.”
“Give diligence … thou mayest be delivered from him”: Jesus calls for reconciliation to be sought eagerly, aggressively, quickly, even if it involves self-sacrifice. It is better to be wronged than to allow a dispute between brethren to be a cause for dishonoring Christ.
I really believe that Jesus told us that if there is any possible way to settle something out of court, do it. People have gotten into a rut, suing everyone for the slightest thing. Most things could be settled out of court, if people would just try. There is no reason for two Christians to fight something out in court. The two should get together, and pray, and each gives a little.
Luke 12:59 “I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.”
Christ would have the people to be as wise in the concerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let them hasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If any man has found that God has set himself against him concerning his sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and now is our time.
(In verses 57-59), Settle the matter before court: Some see little connection between the first and last illustration (a house divided), but Jesus is just telling the same truth in a different way for his differing audience. Jesus tells them to get right with God before the final judgment. Jesus advises his hearers to try to settle the matter of your faith before you get to the judge.
Why? Because there is a penalty for refusing to settle before court convenes: debtor’s prison. The terms magistrate, judge, and officer indicate a civil case involving an unpaid debt. The magistrate is the same person as the judge who hears the case. The officer is the constable in charge of the debtor’s prison.
The last penny (lepton), was the smallest coin available, the same coin as the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:2). It was worth 1/128th of a denarius, a day’s wage. (Luke 7:41) I.e., the lepton was worth less than five minutes of a ten hour work day.
Luke Chapter 12 Second Continued Questions
1. If the goodman of the house knew what hour the thief would come, he would have done what?
2. When is the Son of man coming?
3. What time is 2 Timothy 3 describing?
4. What had Peter recognized about Jesus?
5. Who will be made ruler over that he hath?
6. In what way do the heavenly rewards vary?
7. When the Lord returns, what are we to be doing?
8. If God’s people start complaining about God’s delay and start eating and drinking and compromising with the world, what can they expect?
9. What two ways could our life on this earth suddenly stop?
10. Who shall be beaten with many stripes?
11. Why is a Christian judged harder than the world?
12. To whom much is given much is _______________.
13. How can we assume the apostles would be held more responsible for their actions?
14. What is the fire the Lord brings?
15. What was Jesus saying He wished had already started?
16. What baptism was Jesus speaking of in verse 50?
17. Jesus said He came not for peace, but what?
18. Who does Jesus say many times will be against you, if you are a Christian?
19. Where is this Scripture found?
20. What specific divisions are in verse 53?
21. When did Jesus’ half-brothers begin to believe?
22. When you see a cloud in the west, what kind of weather will you have?
23. In verse 56, what did Jesus call these people who could predict weather but had no idea when He would return?
24. The day of the Lord comes like a _______ in the ________.
25. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4, what are the Christians called?
26. What two meanings do verse 58 and 59 have?