Being Ready (12:35-48)
Discerning the Times (12:54-59)
Watch, servant, master, blessed,
be ready, come, faithful and wise steward, day, hour, know, fire, baptism,
peace/division, discern, time.
1. According to 35-36 and 42,
being watchful involves preparing ourselves in the manner of a servant and
carrying out our duties faithfully while waiting for the master’s return. We
need to be alert, self-controlled, and diligent while we dedicate ourselves to
constant prayer and doing God’s will (1Pet 4:7-8; 5:8-9).
2. See 40.
3. The master will serve them
(37). They will rule over all that the
master has (44).
4. The second and third watches
are the middle and last division of the night hours according to Jewish
reckoning. Here the Lord suggests that He may come late in the night. In other
words, there may seem to be a delay (cf. 45), and waiting for His return will
demand great patience.
5. The Lord did not answer Peter
directly. Instead, He talked about the reward for the faithful servant and
punishment for the wicked servant. The Lord’s response implies that all
believers, who know the will of their master (47), should heed the Lord’s
promise and warning and decide which type of servant they want to be.
6. It is our duty to provide food
to the master’s household. In other words, we need to provide for the spiritual
needs of believers by teaching them God’s word and praying for them (cf. Mt
28:19-20; Eph 6:18).
7a. He made the false assumption
that the master would not return anytime soon (45). His wicked deeds also show
that in his heart he was not faithful to the master.
8. As believers and servants of
the Lord, we know our master’s will and we have been given much. If we fail to
make good use of the talents the Lord has given us to fulfill our
responsibilities, we will deserve a more severe punishment.
10a. The fire here may refer to
the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which will have a dual effect of cleansing and
judgment (cf. Isa 4:4; Jn 16:7-11). Jesus Christ will send the Holy Spirit to
dwell with believers, giving them power and a new life. But those who reject
Christ will come under the Lord’s judgment.
10b. Here the Lord was eagerly
looking forward to the ultimate coming of God’s kingdom, when the righteous
will be separated from the wicked and when God will reign forever. The coming
of the Holy Spirit will “kindle” this fire, the effect of which will be fully
realized at the coming of Christ.
11a. His sufferings and death.
The “fire” of the Holy Spirit would come only after Jesus suffered, died and
was glorified (Jn 7:39; 16:7).
11b. He was distressed because of
the bitter cup that He must drink (cf. Mt 26:38). The thought of sufferings and
agony was a great burden that weighed heavily on His heart.
12a. The division between
followers of Christ and their unbelieving family members. There will be strife
in the family because of differences of beliefs.
13. The people could not discern
that it was time to make a personal decision to follow Christ. In view of the
context (49-53, 57-59), we know that the Lord was referring to the coming
judgment, a time of great crises. Even at such critical time, the people fail
to respond to the gospel message.
14. Just as it is wise to
reconcile with the adversary before being found guilty and thrown into prison,
it is also wise to reconcile with God by believing in Christ before the coming
15. We must receive and act upon
God’s word every day while we have the chance (Heb 3:12-14). We should carry
out God’s will before the period of grace is over.