The Gospel of Luke:a commentary & meditation 
"You must be ready! Jesus is coming at an unexpected hour"

Scripture: Luke 12:39-48

39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." 41 Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?" 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, 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 does not know, and will punish him, and put him  with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. 48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be  required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.

Meditation: What can a thief in the night teach us about the kingdom of God? Jesus loved to tell stories, many which ended with a dramatic and unexpected change of circumstances.  Can you imagine a thief calling ahead to tell his victim when he would strike?  Should we be surprised to see a thief making off with a great treasure left unguarded? What does this say about the treasure which God has entrusted to you and me? When God offers us his kingdom, he gives us a treasure beyond measure (see the parable of the treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:44-46). What is this treasure of immeasurable value?  The Lord himself is our treasure (Job 22:22-23)and the kingdom he offers us is a kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness (Rom. 4:17). The Lord offers us a relationship with him as his sons and daughters and the promise of eternal life as well. The treasure is of far greater value that any earthly treasure and more secure!  But it's possible to lose this treasure if we do not guard what has been entrusted to us by God.  Is your treasure secure?

This parable also contains a lesson in faithfulness.  The Lord loves faithfulness and richly rewards those who are faithful to him.  What is faithfulness?  It's keeping one's word, promise, and commitments no matter how tough or difficult it gets.  Faithfulness is a key character trait of God and one that he expects of us.  Fortunately God gives the grace and strength to remain faithful.  He also rewards faithfulness. The joy and privilege of being a son or daughter of God carries with it an awesome responsibility.  The Lord expects us to make good use of the gifts and graces he gives to us.  The more he gives, the more he requires.  The temptation while the Master is away is to put off for tomorrow what we know the Master expects us to do today!  Are you faithful to God and  ready to give him an account of your stewardship?

"Lord, you are faithful even when I fail.  Help me to remain ever faithful to you and to not shrink back when I encounter difficulties.  Make me diligent in the exercise of my responsibilities and wise and prudent in the use of my gifts, time and resources."

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 (c) 1999, 2000 Don Schwager