Jesus closes up his warnings against hypocrisy, greed, and desiring the things of this world with one last admonition. Be ready for his return.
He told his disciples,
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. (35-37)
In other words, we should never be caught unaware when Jesus returns. Our hope should be so set on him, that we are quick to respond to his call when he comes.
I must admit though, that too many times, I am not ready. It’s so easy to get distracted by the things of this world. And Jesus warns us,
But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (45-46)
We often say that we believe Jesus could come at any time, but do we truly believe it? How often, without ever voicing it, do we live like Jesus will never come back. And so we start mistreating our brothers and sisters in Christ, gossiping about them, insulting them, and hurting them. Or we start getting soaked up in the pleasures of this world. Jesus says that if that happens, we will be judged.
That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (47-48)
Put another way, the more you know, the more you will be held accountable. But don’t think that just because you don’t know you can plead ignorance. Jesus makes it clear here that you should have known. That you should have made the effort to find out what he expects. You may be punished less than the person who knew, but you still will be punished.
But that’s the negative. Jesus also says,
Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (42-44)
If we are faithful, if we are doing the things that God has called us to do when he comes back, we will be rewarded.
How about you? Are you doing the things now that God has called you to do? Are you being faithful? Are you ready?