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Lesson 19
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Lesson 19

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Being Ready (12:35-48)

Division (12:49-53)

Discerning the Times (12:54-59)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Watch, servant, master, blessed, be ready, come, faithful and wise steward, day, hour, know, fire, baptism, peace/division, discern, time.

II.    Segment Analysis

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 judgment.

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.


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