Summary: The concept of Jesus' return in Luke 12:35-48 teaches us to be ready for his return.
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem from Galilee. He only had a few months left to live before his death. He knew that he was going there to die to pay the penalty for sin. He would sacrifice his life in order to reconcile sinners with a holy God.
Along the way to Jerusalem Jesus gave his followers some very important teaching regarding how to live as one of his disciples. Jesus’ instruction covered a number of different topics regarding Christian discipleship. Jesus’ next topic was about how to live between his ascension and his second coming.
Today, let’s read about Jesus’ command to be ready in Luke 12:35-48:
35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant 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 put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Luke 12:35-48)
I am happy to inform you that today is the last day of this year’s hurricane season! Many of you know what happens when a hurricane heads our way. We usually hear about the formation of a hurricane about fourteen days before it strikes land. About ten days out we start hearing about the possible track of the hurricane. As each day passes, we get more accurate information about where the hurricane is expected to strike land. Then, with a week or less to go, and with information that the hurricane is bearing down on our homes, we all go to the stores for supplies and get ready to board up our homes. During the last two or three days we pay careful attention to the news about the approaching hurricane. Finally, with hours to spare, we make sure that our homes are as secure as possible. At this point we have done everything possible for the arrival of the hurricane.
Just as we make preparations for the arrival of a hurricane, Jesus wants his disciples to be ready for his return. But one difference between his return and a hurricane is that, unlike a hurricane, we do not know when Jesus will return.
The analysis of the concept of Jesus’ return as set forth in Luke 12:35-48 teaches us to be ready for his return.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. The Information Regarding Jesus’ Return (12:35-40)
2. The Results Following Jesus’ Return (12:41-48)
I. The Information Regarding Jesus’ Return (12:35-40)
First, let’s look at the information regarding Jesus’ return.
Jesus had been teaching his disciples not to live for earthly treasure, but to seek first the kingdom of God. He had warned them of the danger of greed and called them to avoid anxiety by trusting that God cares for them.
Then Jesus urged his disciples to be ready for his return. At the time Jesus first told his disciples to be ready for his return, they may not have been exactly sure what he meant. However, we now know that Jesus went to the cross a few months later, and died to pay the penalty for sinners. He was buried but three days later was raised back to life, a certain sign of affirmation that God the Father had accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin. Forty days later Jesus ascended into heaven and assured his disciples that he would return one day (cf. Acts 1:11).