Scripture: Luke 12:41- 48
Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, are you telling us this parable for us or for everyone.” Interestingly enough, Jesus does not answer, but relates another parable as if to say, “You answer that question or You decide for yourself.”
Jesus says, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all of his possessions.”
If you are a reader of comics then you may know one who would not be a faithful and prudent manager… one who was often derelict in his duties and that would be Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey. Time and time again Sergeant Snorkel would find Beetle asleep in his cot, slumped against a tree while on maneuvers, or goofing off somewhere. When Sergeant Snorkel found Beetle he would be roused quickly from his sleep and might be beaten into compliance. Poor Beetle just never can get his act together.
The faithful and prudent manager would be a person in charge of many slaves. He would give them their allowance of food at the proper time. He keeps at his job and does not goof off. The master returns and discovers that his faithful and prudent manager has stayed busy. He has proven that he can be trusted and so the master gives him even more responsibilities. He will be put in charge of all of his master’s possessions.
What if that slave had proven untrustworthy? What if he believed that “tomorrow never comes” and that his master was not just delayed but had no intention of returning. He mistreats the slaves by beating them and he eats and drinks to the point of becoming a drunkard. Then on a day and at a time when the slave was not expecting him the master returns and is furious with the slave. The master is so enraged that he resorts to violence beating this unfaithful slave. The slave did not prepare himself for his master’s return and he did not do what was expected. He will be sorely punished in contrast to the slave who knew what was expected but failed to do it. His punishment would be less severe.
This parable reminds us to be watchful and alert … and to stay busy and do what the Lord desires or requires. It also reminds us that when we prove trustworthy even more responsibilities will be given to us. Our faithfulness is recognized and rewarded.
O Lord, help us to stay watchful and alert not just about the big things but by the little ones. Help us to prove that we can be prudent, sensible, and faithful stewards. In Jesus’ name, we pray.