Read Luke 12:42-48
“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whom-soever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (v. 48).
Thinking about stewardship, as we have this week, requires thinking about accountability, where today's scripture rivets our attention. God yokes together privilege and responsibility, so one does not increase without a parallel increase in the other. Privileges of spiritual knowledge, grace, even material blessings inextricably connect with the responsibility to live and love knowledgeably, to grow in grace, to use resources for God's kingdom. And our Master will require an accounting — an explanation, a balancing of the books — for our responsibilities. Giving an account is the steward's duty. The context of Luke 12 includes more than accountability alone, though. Here Jesus emphasizes two truths. First, His return will be sudden, unexpected, and we are called to ready watchfulness (vs. 35-40). Second, His return will bring accountability for what He has given us to do (v. 43). Taken together, Christ paints a dramatic scene: the unfaithful steward has either passively failed to carry out orders or actively abused other slaves, when with the sudden disorientation of a midnight doorbell the Master returns and calls that steward to account. The picture is startling with even a human master, but everything is “exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Aaron Profit)
Help me to watch and pray,
And still on Thee rely;
O let me not my trust betray,
But press to realms on high.
— Charles Wesley
The only safe course for the wise steward: steady, constant fidelity to the Master!
This devotional is the Saturday, March 18, 2017 entry of Opening the Word.