Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Watchmen, the Steward, and the Thief

This is a book first posted on Grace Connection, the Magazine. There is no printed edition. All 30 chapters will appear on the Wheel in the following weeks.


(1) Mark 13:34-36; Luke 12:35-38 (2) Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 12:39-40 (3) Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46

Three different parables are discussed in this chapter. Their theme is vigilance with regard to the Second Coming of Christ. The first parable in Mark is somewhat general. The master goes away and is coming back at an unannounced hour. He expects those he has left behind to be prepared at any time for his return. In a variant of this parable In Luke, the master has gone to a wedding banquet and he expects his slaves to "open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks" (Luke 12:36). They know where he has gone and while they do not know the exact time, they know approximately when he will return. "If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves" (Luke 12:38). An interesting feature in this parable is the fact that if the master finds them alert and ready, he will gird himself and serve them their meal. In those days, this was highly unusual conduct

but significant, because this is exactly how Jesus portrays the kingdom of God elsewhere, notably through his acted parable of washing the disciples' feet at the last supper (in John 13:1-17) and also through his words explaining his own death as the model of Christian service and the antithesis of worldly styles of leadership (see Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:25-27). The kingdom of God is all to do with the unbelievable generosity and condescension on the part of `the Lord' to his servants. Our parable speaks of this in looking forward to the coming feast of the kingdom; Jesus demonstrated it at the feast of the last supper and in his death, and he called his disciples to do the same.

Read more at Adventist Perspective.


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