Luke 12:35-59

The Son of Man’s Journey to Jerusalem (9:51–19:27)

Attentiveness and Watchfulness (35-40)

Big things were getting ready to happen; things way beyond Jesus’ disciples’ ability to fully comprehend. Jesus went into a teaching, hoping to help His disciples get ready for the coming conflict and moment of His leaving and returning.

Returning to what He had told them about their eyes’ giving their whole life light, Jesus warned them to keep their lamps burning. By burning Jesus meant living with expectation as one waiting for his master to come home from a wedding feast. Servants waiting with expectation are ready for the master to arrive at any time, and ready to open the door as soon as he comes, so he won't be left waiting out in the cold after the journey (35-36).

Jesus commented that those servants with the light of expectation burning, who are ready for the master to return, will be blessed (37). They will be so blessed that Jesus Himself will serve those who wait for Him with expectation and are ready when He comes. It could come at midnight or even at the last watch, but the key is they are expecting His return right to the end (38).

Jesus then changed up the parable and talked about a master who left his house unguarded because he was not forewarned at what time the burglary was going to occur. The master, who now represented the disciples, would not have left the house unattended had he known the time of the burglary. Jesus’ point to His disciples was that it was getting close; they were not to allow themselves to lose their sense of expectation. They were to be ready, for a burglary was coming, and Jesus was, at that moment, going to be ready to do His part, and His disciples needed to be ready to do theirs. Jesus was going to destroy the thief, but His disciples were to be ready to open the doors to their hearts for Jesus to enter (39-40).

Of course, we all imagine Jesus was talking about His re-appearing at the end of the age, but it is more likely Jesus was getting His disciples ready for the moment when the great conflict with evil would take place on the cross, and after, Jesus would return to them from the dead at a time they would not expect. Peter was trying to clarify when this was all to take place, so he asked whom the teaching was for—everybody or for them specifically. The next parable seems to imply for everybody (41).

Faithfulness and Wisdom (41-48)

Jesus then told a story of a manager whom the master had put in charge of His house, and the manager’s job was to feed the household at the proper time (42). Jesus’ point was that a faithful and wise manager will continue to do his job no matter how long the master is gone, and then will be blessed when his master does return (43). Upon the master's return, the master will give the manager an even greater post of honor (44).

The parable takes a horrible turn right here, as Jesus imagined three kinds of managers who lost a sense of expectation for the master's immediate return.

a) The first manager began to mistreat other servants and became self-indulgent (45). Instead of being rewarded, this manager's life was ripped to pieces, and he was given a place with others who had been unfaithful (46).
b) The second manager was one who knew what the master wanted and did not mistreat the servants, but also did not get ready for the master's return, so when the master came, he received a severe beating (47).  
c) The third and last manager was the one who did not know what the master wanted, did not mistreat the servant, but did deserve a beating because things were not ready. He also would receive a beating, but it would be a light one.

Jesus’ point: judgment is not equal, but measured out according to knowledge and action. Those who are entrusted with much should live as though much will be required of them and as though much will be demanded of them. Therefore, instead of allowing covetousness and anxiety to drive actions, let a huge expectation of the Master's return and the Master's reward fill the heart.  

The Coming Storm Revealed (49-53)

Jesus defined the coming storm awaiting him in Jerusalem. It was easy for those living in Palestine to know what kind of weather was coming. Clouds from the west meant rain (54); a southerly wind meant it was going to grow unreasonably hot (55). Jesus knew they could figure out the weather, but they could not figure out God's timetable, even though it was easy to be seen and figured out (56).

The Romans were occupying Palestine; Herod was oppressing the Jews; the High Priests were wealthy and indifferent to those hurting in Judea; the Pharisees and Scribes were all working their false agendas; and in the middle of a boiling cauldron of disruption was a Messianic figure announcing the arrival of God's Kingdom and proving it with miracles, healings, and deliverances.

Jesus was announcing what time it was—the time-clock the religious leaders should have easily been able to read but would not.

Jesus explained another part of His mission, the part having to do with His going to Jerusalem. He had come to cast fire on the earth, and His wish was that it would already have been kindled. This fire was like an overwhelming baptism of death, which would change the world (49).

The coming fire of this conflict would culminate in His passion and crucifixion, and Jesus was in distress waiting for it to happen (50). Jesus was the Prince of Peace, but before fully-realized peace would be experienced in the world, a division was necessary—division in homes and families where some would recognize Jesus through His death as the Son of God, and others would not. The division was caused by devotion to Jesus becoming superior to family and friendship alliances (52-53). Jesus was seeking to make the point that the rejection of Him nationally by the Jews was going to bring a huge political and military fire to Israel. The rejection of Jesus was going to result in the fury of Rome’s entering Israel, especially Jerusalem, and ripping it apart.

Jesus warned all listening to discern the signs in the heavens and to understand that Israel, as they knew it, was coming to an end. Jesus told the Jews not to battle with their accuser before the magistrate, but to try to settle their grievances before it went to a judge because the time was close when they were not going to get justice in any courts (57-59).

The covetousness of the religious leaders was going to have catastrophic effects on the nation of Israel. Jesus had come to save them, but was going to end up being killed by them, sealing their ultimate fate.


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