The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Knowing and doing the ‘Master’s will’ is practically the same thing, but not quite. Jesus tells us that there are those who can know His will and not do it. The imagery of a slave being beaten is the illustration. Punishment? Yes. Discipline? It seems more than that. If you know the Master’s will, much, MUCH more will be expected, even demanded, from you. If you’ve been entrusted with the truth of the Gospel, much, MUCH more is asked of you.
James wrote, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (3:1). Dang it! (Oops, sorry.)
Those who do not know the Master’s will sometimes live as the Bible says, simply because of the divine spark that is resident in all of us. Most often, however, they do things that deserve punishment. Jesus says that these people will be ‘beaten with few blows.’ Somehow the punishment will be the same, but less severe. If you know the Master’s will and don’t do it… if you don’t get ready for Jesus’ return… if you live like hell and sin recreationally, look out! Jesus lays down the warning. It ought not to be true of you. You know that Jesus is Lord and that He is returning for you. Get ready.
Getting ready for Jesus’ return is the consistent message of the New Testament. He is coming back. Nobody knows when, but His disciples are to live a life of readiness for that event. For the times we blow it and sin, repentance and forgiveness is offered and we should do these things quickly! Keep your ‘list of things to repent of’ short!
Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval” (Romans 14:17-18). While the warning to be ready is clear, we don’t live the Christian life as slaves expecting a beating. What brings glory to Christ are these lives of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! This is His will for us. We’d better do it… or else!
Thank You, Lord, that this new life You’ve given me is saturated with joy. I live for You today!