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32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Watchful Slaves

35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave

41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” 42And 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? 43Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 44Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 45But 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, 46the 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. 47That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48But 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.


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32. little flock, &c.—How sublime and touching a contrast between this tender and pitying appellation, "Little flock" (in the original a double diminutive, which in German can be expressed, but not in English)—and the "good pleasure" of the Father to give them the Kingdom; the one recalling the insignificance and helplessness of that then literal handful of disciples, the other holding up to their view the eternal love that encircled them, the everlasting arms that were underneath them, and the high inheritance awaiting them!—"the kingdom"; grand word; then why not "bread" (Lu 12:31 [Bengel]). Well might He say, "Fear not!"

33, 34. Sell, &c.—This is but a more vivid expression of Mt 6:19-21 (see on Mt 6:19-21).

35-40. loins … girded—to fasten up the long outer garment, always done before travel and work (2Ki 4:29; Ac 12:8). The meaning is, Be in readiness.

lights, &c.—(See on Mt 25:1).

36. return from the wedding—not come to it, as in the parable of the virgins. Both have their spiritual significance; but preparedness for Christ's coming is the prominent idea.

37. gird himself, &c.—"a promise the most august of all: Thus will the Bridegroom entertain his friends (nay, servants) on the solemn Nuptial Day" [Bengel].

38. second … third watch—To find them ready to receive Him at any hour of day or night, when one might least of all expect Him, is peculiarly blessed. A servant may be truly faithful, even though taken so far unawares that he has not everything in such order and readiness for his master's return as he thinks is due to him, and both could and would have had if he had had notice of the time of his coming, and so may not be willing to open to him "immediately," but fly to preparation, and let his master knock again ere he admit him, and even then not with full joy. A too common case this with Christians. But if the servant have himself and all under his charge in such a state that at any hour when his master knocks, he can open to him "immediately," and hail his "return"—that is the most enviable, "blessed" servant of all.

41-48. unto us or even to all?—us the Twelve, or all this vast audience?

42. Who then, &c.—answering the question indirectly by another question, from which they were left to gather what it would be:—To you certainly in the first instance, representing the "stewards" of the "household" I am about to collect, but generally to all "servants" in My house.

faithful and wiseFidelity is the first requisite in a servant, wisdom (discretion and judgment in the exercise of his functions), the next.

steward—house steward, whose it was to distribute to the servants their allotted portion of food.

shall make—will deem fit to be made.

44. make him ruler over all he hath—will advance him to the highest post, referring to the world to come. (See Mt 25:21, 23).

45. begin to beat, &c.—In the confidence that his Lord's return will not be speedy, he throws off the role of servant and plays the master, maltreating those faithful servants who refuse to join him, seizing on and revelling in the fulness of his master's board; intending, when he has got his fill, to resume the mask of fidelity ere his master appear.

46. cut him in sunder—a punishment not unknown in the East; compare Heb 11:37, "sawn asunder" (1Sa 15:33; Da 2:5).

the unbelievers—the unfaithful, those unworthy of trust (Mt 24:51), "the hypocrites," falsely calling themselves "servants."

48. knew not—that is knew but partially; for some knowledge is presupposed both in the name "servant" of Christ, and his being liable to punishment at all.

many … few stripes—degrees of future punishment proportioned to the knowledge sinned against. Even heathens are not without knowledge enough for future judgment; but the reference here is not to such. It is a solemn truth, and though general, like all other revelations of the future world, discloses a tangible and momentous principle in its awards.




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