Gospel Words: 17. Working for the Lord

Luke 12:41‑44  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
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Luke 12:41-44
CHRIST is the fullest test for every soul of man, for sinner or for saint. He is the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Him; as he that has seen Him, the Son, has seen the Father. For no one has seen God at any time: the only begotten Son that is in the bosom of the Father—He has declared Him. All blessing for the sinner turns on receiving the Savior. He only is the propitiation for our sins, as He alone gives the believer life eternal.
So also Christ makes manifest the practical difference between one believer and another. Thus of the two sisters with their brother, whom Jesus loved, Mary was shown to have chosen the good part which should not be taken from her; whereas Martha chose rather that much serving which distracted her, and made her grumble because her sister sat down at His feet, listening to His word.
Not otherwise is it here in the Lord’s estimate of waiting for Him with working for Him. Undoubtedly the believer is called to do both. But we readily let slip His mind, and are apt to prefer what gives us importance to what pleases Him most. Now the lack of being filled with the sense of His glory and His grace weakens and injures our service; because it exposes us to the ways, if not devices, of our own activity, instead of dependence on Him and subjection to His word.
Hence our Lord draws the twofold picture of blessedness in this chapter. (1) “Blessed are those bondmen whom the Lord on coming shall find watching: verily I say to you, that he will gird himself and make them recline at table, and coming up will serve them” (ver. 37). And He repeats their blessedness in the following verse. What immense grace on His part! It was love that wrought thus mightily. It was His love that created theirs; His that was seen by faith to be so great in One so glorious that formed and fed theirs, and drew them out in waiting for Him as their chiefest, dearest, and constant hope. At His coming He will not forget their loving and worshipping hearts. He will show in the day of His glory His appreciation of their longing for Him, while others expended it more or less on other objects. It will be His joy, never ceasing His service of love even in glory, to pay them especial honor, girding Himself to serve them.
(2) But there is more than this, though not so near His heart nor so high morally. For when Peter said, “Lord, sayest thou this parable to us or also to all?” the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward whom his lord will set over his household to give them the portion of food in season? Blessed is that bondman whom his lord on coming shall find doing thus: verily I say unto you, that he will set him over all that he hath” (vers. 41-44). Here it is working as distinguished from waiting or watching. It is doing Him service, rather than the eyes of the heart fixed on His coming. His interests may be cared for with zeal, His work done faithfully and with intelligence. Sinners are sought earnestly that they may be saved; saints are loved and tended because they are precious to Him. Neither is the Lord unmindful of the service; nor is God unrighteous to forget the work. For that bondman whom the Lord on coming shall find so doing, He will set over all that He has. And has He not pledged Himself so to act, Who is Heir of all things? The servant shall share in the display of His Lord’s glory, if he serve faithfully now in the day He is slighted.
Yet great and glorious as will be the day of recompence, and the requital worthy of Him Who is now served, however weakly in the face of the world which crucified the Lord of glory, what are such returns, wondrous as they shall be, compared to the inner scene of His love Then, according to the graphic figure, He will make them recline in the Father’s house and serve them in that loving service that has no end. When Christ our life shall be manifested, then shall we also with Him be manifested in glory. All the world will see and know it. But it is a deeper thing to enjoy His personal love and honor in a way beyond all creature thought and the world’s ken, as He here promises to the bondmen who wait and watch for Him.
O my reader, how is it with you as you read these lines You may not be conscious of enmity to the Lord Jesus. But are you a confessor of His name? Are you following Him openly as well as believing in Him? Remember the ruler so moral from his youth, who could bear neither to part with his large possessions, nor to follow Christ. It is indeed impossible with men, but not with God, as the Lord said; for all things are possible with God. And what has He done for you and your salvation?—given His own Son to become a man, and a bondman, and a sacrifice that you by faith may lay your hand on that all-efficacious Burnt-Offering. “And it shall be accepted for you to make atonement for you.” For nothing less than this, but even more, does the gospel of God present to you in His name.
Fear not therefore if you draw near in that Name of Jesus which is above every name; fear not; only believe. You cannot make too much of the one Mediator between God and man. God will honor your drawing on His infinite grace, if you draw in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Son of God became man, Christ Jesus, and gave Himself a ransom for all; and the Holy Spirit in the gospel proclaims it now that you may believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. This is God’s testimony in the good news, and these are its own times. The night comes when none can work and none can hear, when those that refuse to hear must perish. If it be so with you, it is your own sin. God sent His only-begotten Son that you might not perish but have life eternal. Oh! hear His word that you may believe and be saved.
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