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Luke Chapter 12:35-59

Memory verses for this week:  Phil 4:9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 12.  Last week, we studied the first half of Chapter 12 where Jesus warned the people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.  He further taught on the danger of the sin of covetousness, and we closed studying how we should be people without anxiety.  If we trust the Lord the way we should, we will know that he will provide all things that we need. 

I.  Waiting for the Lordís Return 

Luke 12:35  Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

Luke 12:36  And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 

God wants us to be people not only waiting for their Lord, but prepared and showing forth good works at His coming.  The language is figurative in these verses.   The bridegroom at the wedding ceremony would go forth to meet his bride in the days of Christ.  They would return to his own home.  His friends would be attired and waiting.   In other words, their loins would be girded about and their lights would be burning as they went out to meet the bridegroom.  The light of testimony is to be kept shining during the time of our Lordís personal absence. 

The loins in verse 35 speak of the Ďloins of the mindí. 

1 Pet 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

The girdle is the truth of God. 

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 

In these days, they wore long flowing robes that were held in place with a girdle.   We are to keep every thought captive to the obedience of Christ it says in II Corinthians 10:5. 

2 Cor 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 

Just as those friends of the Eastern bridegroom waited eagerly for him to bring his bride back home where they could rejoice together, we are to maintain an attitude of expectancy while we wait for the return of our Savior.  We donít know when he will return, so we should be waiting in expectancy each moment.  He truly might come today.

Luke 12:37  Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 

If we are true disciples of the Lord and are eagerly awaiting his coming, it tends to sanctify us as we wait for His return.   We are called to serve in faithfulness today.  By serving in faith, we will one day reign with Him. 

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


2 Tim 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

2 Tim 2:13  If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.


Luke 12:38  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luke 12:39  And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Luke 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 

The Roman watch was three hours long.  The night was divided into four watches.  If the Lord came in the second watch it would still be dark, but whichever time he comes, if he finds his faithful servants watching they will be blessed.   He goes on to explain that if the man of the house had know what time the thief was going to break in, he would have been waiting on him.  He would not have been taken by surprise and would have guarded his home. 

Our Lord wants us to be always alert since we do not know what hour He will return.  To the unwatchful ones, the Lordís return will be unexpected and unwelcome.  It will come as a thief in the night.   We are told in verse 40 that he comes in an hour we think not.    

Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 

In the parable of the virgins with the lamps, we find that some of them did not have oil.    The oil speaks of the Holy Spirit.  When the bridegroom came, they asked that those who had oil share it with them, but they told them no.  They left to buy oil, and when they returned, they had missed the bridegroom.  It will be like that on the day Christ returns.  If we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us due to being saved, we will be ready to go.   Those who have put it off will be unprepared. 

Matthew Henry said this about these verses on the bridegroom. 

Christ our Master, though now gone from us, will return again, return from the wedding, from solemnizing the nuptials abroad, to complete them at home. Christís servants are now in a state of expectation, looking for their Masterís glorious appearing, and doing every thing with an eye to that, and in order to that. He will come to take cognizance of his servants, and, that being a critical day, they shall either stay with him or be turned out of doors, according as they are found in that day.

3. The time of our Masterís return is uncertain; it will be in the night, it will be far in the night, when he has long deferred his coming, and when many have done looking for him; in the second watch, just before midnight, or in the third watch, next after midnight, v. 38. His coming to us, at our death, is uncertain, and to many it will be a great surprise; for the Son of Man cometh at an hour that ye think not (v. 40), without giving notice beforehand. This bespeaks not only the uncertainty of the time of his coming, but the prevailing security of the greatest part of men, who are unthinking, and altogether regardless of the notices given them, so that, whenever he comes, it is in an hour that they think not.  [i] 

Luke 12:41  Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 

Peter asked Christ whether this illustration was used for themselves alone or for all of Christís disciples.   The answer he gives shows that it is intended for all professed believers to the end of the dispensation.


II.  Parable of the Steward and His Servants 

Luke 12:42  And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Luke 12:43  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Luke 12:44  Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 

The Lord promises to reward each faithful servant when He returns.  He pronounces blessing on the servant whom He will find so doing at His return.   There will be special blessings to the servants who are watching and are faithful to God.   

Luke 12:45  But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

Luke 12:46  The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luke 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Luke 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. 

Christ tells of judgment that will be meted out in that day.   God will not be unrighteous in dealing with anyone.   Those who are not prepared wonít have a second chance to get it right.   Those who knew the Lordís will and did it not will be punished more than those who knew not.   What is Godís will for all men? 

1 Tim 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

1 Tim 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1 Tim 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 Tim 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 

Scripture teaches us that responsibility and privilege go together.  In our dealings with others, we recognize that here on earth.   When God commits any talent, ability, or knowledge of truth to His servants, he wants it used to His honor and glory.   To tail to act in accordance with the revealed will of God will cause us to suffer loss when we are called to give an account of our stewardship at the judgment seat of Christ.   On that day, all of our works will be tested by the fire of Godís holiness. 

1 Cor 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

1 Cor 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1 Cor 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 Cor 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Cor 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


III.  Christ is a Divider of Men 

Luke 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 

The symbol of fire speaks of God acting in judgment against sin.   Jesus told his followers that he came not to condemn men, but to save them.   Yet the world puts itself in the place of condemnation by rejecting Him. 

John 12:46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 

Luke 12:50  But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Luke 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Luke 12:52  For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

Luke 12:53  The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 

The baptism Jesus speaks of here in verse 50 is the divine judgment which he was to undergo on the cross of Calvary.   His own soul was deeply moved as He looked forward to the cross and the judgment of sin that He was to endure there.  There on the cross of Calvary, Jesus divided the world.  Some will believe, others will reject the message of salvation.  He warns how that five in a house will be divided 2 against 3.   Families will be divided because of Christ.   One of the ladies I have met that has really moved me is Mrs. Isaacs of the singing Isaacs group.  She was born a Jew, and when she accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, none of her family would have anything to do with her.   But she still loves her family and tries to reach them for Christ.  The reason there is so much division is due to peopleís attitudes towards Jesus Christ.   Those who love Him honor and respect Him.  Those who reject Him want nothing to do with Him.  They refuse to have him reign over their lives. 

Luke 12:54  And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.

Luke 12:55  And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.

Luke 12:56  Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? 

Jesus points out how the people could look at the sky and discern what was about to happen with the weather.  But those same ones could not see the signs of the Lord and what was about to come on earth.  They had the Scriptures of the prophets in their hands, yet they seemed to not understand anything about Christís coming.  They could not see the signs being fulfilled all about them. 

Luke 12:57  Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

Luke 12:58  When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.

Luke 12:59  I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite. 

These verses speak of how things in this life can be settled out of court.   We had better get things settled in this life about salvation.   It will be too late to settle matters at the judgment seat of Christ for the Christian.  You will suffer loss if you wait to confess sin and set things right with God.  If you are lost, there will be no hope for the sinner at the Great White Throne Judgment of God.   All will hear him cast them into the flames of Hell.   If you want to be saved, you must do it in this life. 

J Vernon McGee said this about peace coming on earth.

We need to realize and recognize what kind of world we are living in. Man thinks he is big enough and good enough to bring peace on the earth. This is a fallacyóman is a warmonger. The United Nations was formed to bring peace and to keep peace on earth. May I say, the United Nations is one of the best fighting arenas in the world today! We need to realize that until Christ comes there can be no real peace.  [ii] 


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343. 

Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 

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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henryís Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.