Summary: Are we ready to open the door for Jesus upon His return? Let’s look at the parable of the waiting servants in Luke 12:35-48. A Year D Sermon.

Are we ready to open the door for Jesus upon His return? Let’s look at the parable of the waiting servants in Luke 12:35-48.


Luke 12:35 “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.” As a household servant would have had the lamps lit for the owner’s return, so do many of us leave an outside light on for someone we are expecting home soon. If they’ve been gone a long time, we may be dressed appropriately to help them. So must be ready for the Parousia or Second Coming of Christ.

Luke 12:36 “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” The picture here is one of expectant waiting for the household boss coming from a wedding celebration and opening the door at his first knock. Live in joyful expectation of His coming, ready to meet Him.

Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” Rather than be served, our selfless and loving Master, Jesus will gladly serve us. Footwashing was not an empty gesture, but the way Jesus lives.

Luke 12:38 “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.” Romans divided the night into four watches. The Jews into three watches. The second Jewish watch was from 10:00 pm-2:00 am and the third from 2:00-6:00 am. An earlier or later coming of Christ makes no difference to those who are ready.

Luke 12:39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.” A second metaphor of waiting for Christ is the unexpected thief in the night. But, we can be ready for the thief. Even in ancient times families took turns on night watch as we saw.

Luke 12:40 “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” How do we get ready? How do we watch? We stay on the alert. We don’t let the thief steal our faith. We pray. We guard our hearts. We watch our mouths. We guard against heresies. We draw near to God faithfully obedient to His commandments of love.


Luke 12:42 “… Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?” Jesus instructs every faithful steward but it reminds us of other admonitions, “Tend My lambs” (John 21:15) and “shepherd the church of God” (Acts 20:28). The spiritual diet given in due season is very important to God.

Luke 12:43-44 “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” What should a preacher preach, meat in due season, or worldly fluff that tickles the ears? Should he preach the Bible or the philosophy of those who care more for the world’s opinions? Faithful preaching has eternal rewards.

Luke 12:45 “But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk”. Too much alcohol is not for Christians. We would be tempted to let down our guards and become abusive. It’s not time to slacken in our responsibilities to God and the Church.

Luke 12:46 “the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.” If we neglect the worship of God, we will not be ready for Christ’s return. Our punishment will be ugly. This is Jesus talking, not an Old Testament prophet.

Luke 12:47-48a “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.” Contrary to the popular notion that ignorance of the law is not excuse, with God it is. The level of culpability depends on knowledge.

Luke 12:48b “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Just as national leaders have a grave responsibility to tell the truth and show forth good character, so do Church leaders. Those who have been given a greater knowledge of God’s Holy Word are thus held more accountable for how they live.

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