Prepared To Serve 2 — The Master’s Expectation
Chan Gin Kai
Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Luke 12:41-44)
Peter asked Jesus whom he was telling the parable to. Jesus replied that it was for all whom God has tasked to serve Him — that’s all of them, and all of us.
We have all been called by God to serve Him and the people around us. There is no distinction between clergy and laity, congregation and leaders.
Every Christian, regardless of titles or talents, roles or remuneration, is supposed to serve. The responsibility does not fall on the full-time staff alone, and the burden is to be shared by everyone. All of us need to be involved in growing the Body, the church. We are to serve one another, call each other higher and be there in times of need. God has tasked all of us to reach out to the lost, teach the Bible and help the poor too.
Just as the call to serve applies to all of us, the promise of reward applies to all of us too.
The servant was merely doing what he was supposed to do. Why would that merit the servant being put “in charge of all his (the master’s) possessions”? That’s because God is far more generous than we deserve. You can read more about it in our last article.
Now comes the other part… God has high expectations of us too.
“But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.” (Luke 12:45-46)
Yes, the Master expects His servants to serve and He will punish anyone who abuses His people.
Just because God is generous in rewarding us more than we deserve doesn’t mean He has no expectation of us to serve. Both His generosity and expectations are described in the same parable, so how can we even believe in one but not the other? They’re not mutually exclusive.
We may look at the above passage and argue that we do not abuse others, so we’re not really that bad. How is withholding the message to salvation not worse than abuse? How is being stingy with our abundance not cruel to the poor and homeless? The Bible teaches, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)
Jesus even described the punishments for failing the Master’s expectations in harsh terms — “cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers”. He didn’t mince his words because God won’t mince His actions.
We have explored in our last article how humility, service and love are part of God’s character. But so is righteousness, equity and justice. God is as perfect in His love as He is in his justice. But hypocrites that we are… we want Him to mete out justice on our enemies, yet hold back punishments on us.
God’s expectation for us to serve goes hand in hand with His love. It is because He desires all people to be saved, that Jesus died for us, and we’re called to spread His gospel (1 Timothy 2:3-7). It is because He cares for the poor, weak and afflicted that He considers what we do to help them as favours done to Him (Matthew 25:34-46). It is because God loves the church that He wants us to spur one another (Hebrews 10:24).
“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. (Luke 12:47-48)
We cannot feign ignorance, and even if we really are ignorant, God’s expectations remain. The fact is, the Bible is clear, and we really have no excuses. But for those who do know and deliberately disobey Him, the punishment will be harsher.
What stops us from serving today?
God expects us to serve because He loves people. The gospel has to be preached, the church has to thrive, and the poor has to be helped. We are called to make an impact and reflect His glory. What excuses do we give?
Read more about ‘Prepared To Serve’:
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry of the Central Christian Church. He describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.