A Worse Punishment

“And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:47-48

It’s worse to know the master’s will and deliberately choose not to adhere to it than never to have known at all and still be guilty of misdeeds. Not knowing doesn’t discount the guilt but how much more is the guilt when the will is known yet ignored.

Jesus was teaching a parable about the significance of being ready and on the alert in anticipation for the master’s return. This is what a faithful slave does for his master. Peter questioned Jesus whether this parable was for just the disciples or everyone. Jesus used this question as an opportunity to demonstrate the difference in punishment of a slave who outright denies the master’s will versus one who does it out of ignorance. He shows that both are at fault yet the master has a higher expectation for those in whom he has entrusted so much as they are a steward of his goods and the responsibility required of them is much greater because of what they have.

Though we can look to Peter and his fellow disciples and clearly see the Master has placed tremendous responsibilty on them as He has made them stewards of much, everyone has a measure of responsibility in the Master’s kingdom and it is apparent we take it seriously and not waste time lest we receive a greater punishment when He comes unexpectedly. In anticipation for the return of the Son of Man, we need to earnestly wait for Him while doing the Master’s will. I have witnessed too many who have ignored these warnings and I fear for their souls for their punishment will be worse than someone who had never known. Peter, in his own epistle inspired by the Holy Spirit, reiterates this teaching of Jesus by setting the same expectation for Christians who were being terribly persecuted by writing:

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 2 Peter 2:20-21

For those who have not kept the Master’s will, please get ready and act accordingly. For those that have, stay on the alert and continue as a faithful steward. He will return at an unexpected time to find everyone as they have chosen. What will you choose?

My high and mighty Master, I commit myself as a slave to Your will knowing that You have given me to be a steward over such precious treasure. I am alert, I am ready for the return of the Son of Man which will deem Your return. In my sorrow I pray for those who have turned away from Your will. Help me to be a vessel that encourages them to once again act according to Your commands so that they will not experience a worse punishment as someone who never knew the way of righteousness. By Jesus we are entrusted with much to give in this world. Praise and honor be to Him as we joyfully live as faithful stewards in His kingdom. Amen.

Truth in love,

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