June 6, 2021

Rewards and Punishment

Passage: Luke 12:41-48
Service Type:


  • When last looking at this passage (v35-40) - being ready for the return of Jesus Christ
    • His people are to wait, watch, be vigilant and be ready for the coming of the Lord
    • Great theological knowledge is no good if you are not living in the light of Christ's return
  • Last time we considered the word "blessed" (v37-38)
    • The master will serve them
  • Today (v41-48)
    • Some strong teaching
    • Blessings and punishment - some graphic language
    • We must be faithful to the word of God
  • Considering the themes of rewards and punishment
    • Rewards (v42-44)
    • Punishment (v45-48)
      • Today's criminal punishment - often light sentencing
      • Rights vs entitlements
      • The Bible speaks of privileges and responsibilities, of stewardship, accountability, rewards and punishment
    • We must not think that good works equals a reward and a profligate life equals punishment
      • The message of Christianity is that we have all sinned and all need the unmerited grace of God
      • Yet we know that we must give an account of our life before God
        • There will be rewards and punishments
    • God is fair and just
  • v41 - Peter asks if this parable is to the disciples (or even just the 12 apostles) or all people
    • v22 - He was previously talking to His disciples
    • Jesus does not give a yes or no - His response is nuanced
    • v47 - More would be expected of the disciples that other people
    • v47 - It applies to the Jews
    • v44 - It applies to the Gentiles
    • It applies to all people in different ways
  • Overview
    • The blessing of faithfulness
    • The curse of abuse
    • The degrees of punishment
    • The requirements of privilege

The Blessing of Faithfulness

  • v42-43
  • Stewardship
    • Luke 16:1-13, 19:12-27, Matt 25:14-30 - explanation
    • Jesus often speaks of the master going away and entrusting his servants
  • v42 - a picture of servants in the household
    • If they do their duty they will receive privileges
    • "Blessed" - examples
  • Have you trusted solely in Jesus?
    • Are you living for Him and not for self?
    • Are you seeking first His Kingdom?
    • Are you trusting in grace?
    • Do you love the Master?
  • Blessings:
    • v32 - He will give us the kingdom
    • The 12 apostles sitting on 12 thrones
    • We will judge angels
    • We will reign with Christ

The Curse of Abuse

  • v45-46
  • A big contrast
  • Another wicked servant
    • A cruel and abusive servant
    • Who lives it up
  • Who is this speaking about?
    • A religious person - living a double life
    • 11:39 - explanation
    • v46 - appointed with the unbelievers
      • He did not fear God - He was not a believer
        • Not speaking about a believer - a child of God (who cannot lose their salvation)
      • Examples
  • Severe language
    • Cut in two
    • Assigned a portion with the unbelievers

The Degrees of Punishment

  • v47-48
  • Shocking language in the 21st century
  • Who is Jesus speaking about?
    • Believers or unbelievers - note it does not say 'apportioned with the unbelievers' (v46)
    • Don't get too caught up in the exactitude of the language
      • Ask if you know God's will and are you doing it?
    • v47 - the Jew, v48 - the Gentiles
    • v47 - those in the Church (who don't know God) and v48 - those outside the Church
    • Jesus spoke about those having greater suffering in the judgment
  • God is a just God
    • Ask if you have come to Christ?
    • Ask if you are following God's word?
  • Example of Numbers 15
  • What privilege have we had?
    • Being brought up in a Christian home?
    • Being taught the Bible?
    • Sunday School?
  • However, we are all responsible for the life we have been given - v48

The Requirements of Privilege

  • v48
  • To those who more is given - more will be required
  • 1 Cor 4:2 - Stewards must be found faithful
  • How will you respond?
    • Are there sins that need to be confessed?
    • Do you need to give your life to God?
  • Oh that we all be faithful and wise stewards and take the warnings of God seriously