Summary: Jesus wants us to reflect on what we want to happen when He returns and to prepare our self for it right now. If you want to be prepared for Christ’s return you must prepare yourself through faithfulness.
LUKE 12: 35-40. [PARABLES IN LUKE]
THE WATCHFUL SERVANTS
Jesus has been teaching principles for kingdom living. He is preparing them for His departure and their ministry. He would be leaving His followers but He promised to return again for them at a future time (John 14:1-4; Mt. 25:31). His followers would then be on their own without His direct supervision. The delay in His return might cause His disciples to grow weary or lazy. So here Jesus teaches that His disciples should be ready because the Son of Man will come at a time when they are not expecting Him.
The parable describes a scene in which several servants were waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet. The point was that they are to remain vigilant for the master arrival [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, S. 239]. Jesus wants us to reflect on what we want to happen when He returns and to prepare our self for it right now. If you want to be prepared for Christ’s return you must prepare yourself through faithfulness (CIT).
I. PREPARED FOR THE MASTER’S RETURN, 35-36.
II. BLESSED BY THE RETURNING MASTER, 37-38.
III. CALLED TO EXPECTANT FAITHFULNESS, 39-40.
This section begins in verse 35 with a command to be ready and have a lamp already lit in preparation for the master’s return. “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.”
Two word pictures immediately appear. The servants are told to belt their robes and keep their lamps burning. The long robes of the Middle East [worn by men and women] nearly touch the ground. They were and are worn without belts. The hot climate makes loose-fitting clothing the nearly universal preference. Any strenuous activity requires the wearer to tie a belt or rope around the waist and then tucking in the bottom edge of the robe into the belt to keep it off the ground and out of the way. [Bailey, Kenneth. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. 2008. Inter Varsity Press, Dover Grove, IL. p.369]. Tey were then freed up to be about their duty (1 Pet. 1:13-15).
The command also includes keeping the lamps lit. Only those who have lived without electricity know the difficulty of preparing a lamp with oil and a wick after it is dark. It is best prepared before hand in the light. (Lk. 8:16, 11:33; Ex. 27:20; Lev. 24:1-2).
Having loins girded and lamps burning depict activities of preparation and watching (Mt. 25:1-13).
Verse 36 complete the story by telling us the master is away at a wedding banquet. “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 story seems to be of a master who went off to get married [Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Com. Victor Books. Wheaton, IL. 1989. Vol 1. p. 222]. Because of the heat Middle Eastern weddings were held late at night [and could last a week]. The picture is of the new husband coming home with his bride. Most certainly he would not want to be kept waiting on this special night.
Applied spiritually the sense is to be ready for the Lord Jesus when He returns from the marriage feast of heavens glory. Jesus wants you to be watching and ready for Him not needing to be aroused from spiritual slumber.
Dean Frederic Farrar was a personal friend QUEEN VICTORIA of England. On one occasion he told of a conversation he had with Her Majesty after she had heard one of her chaplains preach a message on Christ's return. She said, "Oh, Dean Farrar, how I wish the Lord would come during my lifetime!" When he asked why she desired this, her countenance brightened, and with deep emotion she replied, "Because I would love to lay my crown at His blessed feet in reverent adoration!"
There are at least two ways in which Christians "wait" for the Lord's return. Some are completely unmoved by this coming event because they have only a cold, theological knowledge of the facts. This attitude is superficial - a mere mental assent to a doctrine that does not cause them to be faithful to the Lord. Other believers, however, look expectantly as did Queen Victoria, longing for the Savior's second advent with holy zeal. They are living for His glory and want to give Him praise and adoration for all He has done for them. This way of thinking touches the heart and motivates a person to godly living with a hopeful expectation of seeing Jesus face to face. We need to be ready for the last moment by continually keeping the light of our devotion to Jesus trimmed and burning bright (Lk. 8:16, 11:33; Ex. 27:20; Lev. 24:1-2).