Monday, November 14th. Luke 12:41-48

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?”  And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.  Luke 12:41-48


What is Peter looking for in his initial question?


In the 12th chapter of Luke, Jesus tells stories and uses real life examples to encourage his listeners both to a sense of urgency in their calling and to greater trust that they will be OK.  Jesus seems to jump from one extreme to the other.  Consider verses 5-7: 


But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.


If you are really keying into what Jesus is saying, it might be a bit crazy making.  How do you keep up with that?  So maybe what Peter is seeking is (positive slant) some clear direction to just what he ought to do or (negative slant) a loophole that gets him off the hook.


Thus we find ourselves at the end of the church calendar year.  Christ the King Sunday is just around the corner.  Now is the time of the year when we are hearing the “hurry up and wait” stories of the Bible.  We find ourselves turning another page in the same faith whose 1st century adherents were absolutely convinced that Jesus was coming back to wrap the whole experiment up by next Tuesday.


But we still wait.  Christ is King and we are ambassadors of that disputed sovereignty but we all know that we are settled in for the long haul.  We are only the most recent age to assume it will all end with us.  So Peter’s question becomes our question.


And Jesus answers…..with a story.  At best he offers a cryptic “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”


Let us pray:  Dear Lord, you have given us all that we need.  Life, love, purpose.  You have brought us into a new relationship with you and with others in the church.  You give us the freedom to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, to receive and to share.  Give us also that rare combination of urgency and patience, that we ever be ready to act quickly in your name and that we be equally ready to rest patiently in your promises.  For we know we have been given much.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


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