Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ready for Jesus' Return

"Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” (Luke 12:41).

Jesus had just told the disciples to be prepared for His return through the parable of some servants who needed to keep the house ready for their master’s return. Since the disciples were special servants of Jesus, Peter asked if His warning was for everyone, or exclusively for the disciples.

Jesus answered by asking, “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” (Luke 12:42–43). In other words, all believers are God’s servants, but there are special servants—leaders in the church—who are managers. And the Master is particularly concerned about how they behave.

“But suppose the servant [manager] 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” (vv. 45–46).

This passage terrifies me because it is clear Jesus is speaking to those who hold positions of authority in His church. They, in particular, are the ones who are to study and learn the Master’s will; and if they squander their time, fail to teach the people properly, or abuse their position by lording it over the flock, they will be destroyed.

Jesus summarizes the matter this way, “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” (v. 48). Surely it is a fearful thing to have responsibility in the church. Those who have it must walk in the fear of God, more than those who don’t.

Each of us is responsible before God, no matter what position we hold. Thus, Jesus’ teachings apply to each of us. Today, reflect on the position your elders, deacons, and pastor hold before God. They need your prayers and your support because they will be required to give an account of their leadership on the Day of Judgment. Read Hebrews 13:17, and then pray for those who watch over your soul.