“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
You know how celebrities can’t ever leave the house without making sure their hair, makeup, and clothes are flawless or they risk being caught by the paparazzi? Being a Christian is kind of like that. Our hearts, minds, and souls must always be reading to welcome God in. So how does one attain celebrity status? First you have to look the part. Know how to dress. Then once you get famous, you have to do it all the time. (This celebrity metaphor is starting to get a little strained…) Just like a celeb that wears sweats gets booed by the magazines, a Christian who fails to love their neighbor is booed by God.
With great power comes great responsibility. (Apparently I’m switching now from a bad metaphor to an awesome cliche.) We have each been given that power by God in the form of knowledge of His Word, and through the Holy Spirit. Blessed as we are with such gifts, it is our duty to God, to others, and to ourselves to use them wisely. Don’t beat down and hurt other human beings just because you can! Be encouraging and loving (but firm if you must), exactly how you would want your boss to be. Because in Jesus’s analogy, we are the boss. We have the power. Now God expects us to use it the right way.
I take solace in verse 48. “But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating.” I have always been led to believe that all non-believers spent an eternity in Hell, even if they knew nothing of God. It’s a teaching that scare many away from God, because how could a loving God be so cruel? But here it says that if they were ignorant, their punishment will be less severe. It gives me hope that my secret, completely un-Biblical imagination of possibilities after death aren’t too far off base. Hope that those I have loved who rejected Jesus might not have to suffer forever for their mistakes. Or at least hope that the innocent who know nothing of Christ may be spared.