Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing (Luke 12:43).
Jesus told a parable about the expectant steward (Luke 12:35-40). When He was done, Peter asked Him if the parable was addressed to just the disciples or to everyone. He answered Peter’s question with a question. Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
Jesus tells Peter about a lord who trusted one servant to feed his other servants – unsupervised. He puts him in charge of everything he has. The scriptures don’t tell us why he picked this servant out of all the other servants, but he trusted him with an assignment. I don’t know if he grew impatient or frustrated while waiting for his lord to return (Luke 12:45) or if he got the ‘big head’, but he started abusing those who he was supposed to feed, look after, manage, and protect. Instead of doing what his lord wanted him to do, he did what he was wanted to do.
In Luke 23:34, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”, but in this parable, the servant knew. He knew his lord’s will, but he didn’t prepare neither did he do according to what he knew (Luke 12:47). The consequences of disobedience is this: To him that knew, but didn’t do, he shall be beaten with many stripes, but to him that didn’t know, but committed things worthy of stripes, he shall be beaten with few stripes.
To answer Peter’s question, everyone is accountable for what he or she hears. This is not just for preachers. Every person who professes to be a Christian has a responsibility. We are responsible for what we know and ignorance is not an excuse. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts…so they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day (Romans 1:19-20, TLB). When a lot has been given to you, a lot is expected of you. The more knowledge you have, the more you are expected to apply it. When God has been generous with you, He expects you to serve him well and if He has been more than generous with you, he expects you to serve him even better (Luke 12:48, CEV).
When we think of possessions, we usually think of things, but not God’s people. The lord’s possessions included his other servants. The servant’s responsibility was to serve – faithfully, lovingly and patiently. To serve means to perform duties for someone else, to provide services that will benefit or help someone else. To serve also means to obey and to submit to someone else. This servant was all about getting, but not giving. He wanted to order people around, eat, drink and get drunk. He wanted to be a slave master and not a servant, but Jesus said whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant. We must become like the Son of man who didn’t come to be served, but He came to serve and to give life. We should be concerned about others and not just ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:24).
It wasn’t until the servant was given a position that his true character was revealed. We see what was in his heart. We see his issues. We see his habits. Pride was in him. But that was okay. Nothing is too hard for God. What is impossible with man is possible with God. All that servant needed was to be placed in a position or situation that would make him into the person that his lord wanted him to be, but the servant had to want change, too.
Another thing I realized about this servant is that he started doing well, but he didn’t continue to do what he was taught. Because he didn’t see or know when his lord was coming, he gave up before ‘the return’. And so it is with some of us. Sometimes we give up before the harvest, breakthrough, healing or deliverance. We plant, we water, but we don’t wait for the Lord to give the increase.
Now one last thing.
Prayer is good. Don’t stop praying, but when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, He never intended for them to use prayer as a substitute for work. You must do the work. Sometimes that means studying, seeking, asking questions, getting up early or staying up late. It also means you have to be willing to change. To eat the good of the land or to receive what God has promised, you have to be more than willing. You must also be obedient (Isaiah 1:19). Hearing God is not enough. You must do what you heard.
What will He find you doing?