“Be dressed and ready to serve. Keep your lamps burning. Be like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding dinner. When he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready when he comes. What I’m about to tell you is true. The master will then dress himself so he can serve them. He will have them take their places at the table. And he will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready. It will even be good if he comes in the middle of the night or toward morning. But here is what you must understand. Suppose the owner of the house knew at what hour the robber was coming. He would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you don’t expect him.”
Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this story to us, or to everyone?”
The Lord answered, “Suppose a master puts one of his servants in charge of his other servants. The servant’s job is to give them the food they are to receive at the right time. The master wants a faithful and wise manager for this. It will be good for the servant if the master finds him doing his job when the master returns. What I’m about to tell you is true. The master will put that servant in charge of everything he owns. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time to come back.’ Suppose that servant begins to beat the other servants, both men and women. Suppose he feeds himself. And suppose he drinks until he gets drunk. The master of that servant will come back on a day the servant doesn’t expect him. The master will return at an hour the servant doesn’t know. Then the master will cut him to pieces. He will send the servant to the place where unbelievers go.
“Suppose a servant knows the master’s wishes. But the servant doesn’t get ready and doesn’t do what the master wants. Then that servant will receive a heavy beating. But suppose the servant does not know his master’s wishes. And suppose the servant does things for which he should be punished. He will receive a lighter beating. Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. Even more will be asked of the person who is supposed to take care of much.
Jesus Will Separate People From One Another
“I have come to bring fire on the earth. How I wish the fire had already started! But I have a baptism of suffering to go through. And I must go through it. Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you. I have come to separate people. From now on there will be five members in a family, each one against the other. There will be three against two and two against three. They will be separated. Father will turn against son and son against father. Mother will turn against daughter and daughter against mother. Mother-in-law will turn against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Understanding the Meaning of What Is Happening
Jesus spoke to the crowd. He said, “You see a cloud rising in the west. Right away you say, ‘It’s going to rain.’ And it does. The south wind blows. So you say, ‘It’s going to be hot.’ And it is. You pretenders! You know how to understand the appearance of the earth and the sky. Why can’t you understand the meaning of what is happening right now?
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? Suppose someone has a claim against you, and you are on your way to court. Try hard to settle the matter on the way. If you don’t, that person may drag you off to the judge. The judge may turn you over to the officer. And the officer may throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny!”