Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 12:37-51

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Luke 12:37

The master displayed great humility by serving his servants! Jesus used the picture to show his joy at the service of his disciples who were found faithful (v. 38). On the day of his return, he will bring the fullness of the kingdom's blessings (13:29; 22:30; Rev. 3:20; 19:9).

Luke 12:38

watch of the night. Either part of the Jewish three-watch or Roman four-watch division of the night. Regardless, this would have been a late part of the night. Diligence and watchfulness were required.

Luke 12:39-40

The day of Christ's return will not be immediately obvious. Therefore, his disciples must always be ready.

Luke 12:41-49

Jesus gave several illustrations of one truth — that when he returned he will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:9; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5).

Luke 12:41

Jesus was already speaking to his followers (v. 22). Peter's question was about the role of apostles (us) and the disciples at large (everyone). The passage applies to all, but leaders must especially take notice of its teaching.

Luke 12:42

manager. A good analogy for leaders entrusted to shepherd God's people (v. 41; see John 21:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3).

Luke 12:43-44

The faithful servant is rewarded with more responsibility (v. 48; 19:17; 1 Cor. 6:2-3).

Luke 12:45-46

Unlike the faithful servant (vv. 43-44), some may abuse the authority they were given. Yet, he will not escape the justice of the master who comes back suddenly and unexpectedly (see 1 Sam. 15:33; Ps. 50:22; Rev. 19:15). place . . . unfaithful. This is a picture of one who professes to know Christ, but is not really a believer (13:28; see Matt. 7:21-23; 1 John 2:19).

Luke 12:47-48

beaten. Unlike the severe treatment of the unbeliever (vv. 45-46), there is another lesser judgment. This is for those who knew but did not obey Jesus's instruction (Jas. 4:17). few blows. Even less severe is the one who did not understand the instructions he was given. entrusted. Jesus expected that his disciples would wisely use the knowledge and resources given to them (see Matt. 25:14-30; Mark 4:24, 25). See WLC 151.

Luke 12:49

fire. Can symbolize God's judgment on sin (Isa. 26:11; Zeph. 1:18; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 10:27). Or, fire can picture a process of refinement God brings upon his people (Isa. 48:10; Zech. 13:9; 1 Pet. 1:7). Here, Jesus probably intended both. He came to bring a fire that will consume all that is opposed to God and refine those that have been set apart for him (2:34; 12:49; Heb. 12:29). wish. This is why he was sent from his Father. Therefore, he longed to complete his mission.

Luke 12:50

baptism. Not the one already done by John (3:21-22). This baptism is a picture of Jesus's saving work on the cross. Thus, when Jesus spoke of baptism here, he was anticipating having to endure God's judgment against sin (see Ps. 88:7; Jon. 2:3; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is a picture of the total experience of pain, punishment, sorrow, and suffering that he would undergo to bring salvation for his people (see Rom. 3:21-26; 2 Cor. 5:21).

Luke 12:51

Luke has already made several references to Jesus bringing peace (1:79; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5-6). However, when Jesus came he caused division. This is not contradictory. As his following statements show, Jesus divides humanity (vv. 52-53). Believers are separated out from those that refuse to repent before God. The result is conflict (see Gen. 3:15; John 15:18–16:4).

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