“Analysis of Luke Chapter 12 Verses 35-41,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear Christians and non-Christians, and you of all faiths and thoughts and all views and opinions, I bid you and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery where those who may wish to engage in critical thinking and do not engage in and accept media lies, falsehoods, political code words, and hype can join in the effort to gain truth and facts amid the barrage of corruption and virtual darkness we are confronted with and befuddled and made effective fools of. I welcome you in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment. Join with me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in the world of confusion and to come with me in tearing apart he curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.
Today my fellow thinkers and readers and you of all streams of thoughts and faiths I will now however inadequately and with humility and hesitation seek to understand, comprehend, and grasp once again the meaning and import of a passage from the gospel of Luke, the chapter on watchfulness found in Luke 12 verses 35-41 as follows: “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly I say to you he will gird himself and have them sit at the table and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch or in the third and finds them so blessed are those servants. But know this that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the son of man is coming at an unexpected time.”
How are we to tease out the meaning of this very important series of sayings? Jesus makes clear to all of us here that we must be ready as we wait for the master to return home from the marriage feast and keep our loins girded and our lamps burning. What I see as the meaning of these particular sayings is that we must always be ready not only for the advent and return of Christ but must be always be spiritually ready for the relationship he offers us and be ready throughout the course of our lives. The servants are blessed or the church or the Christian community are said to be blessed who Christ finds awake and ready for his love the relationship of his love and ready for his offering and grant of eternal life and in a reversal of roles which underscores god’s absolute love. Jesus makes the point of god’s unconditional love in taking the reversed role of the servant and the servants, whether he finds them awaiting him at the second or third watch will share in the heavenly eschatological banquet and blessed he says are those servants and he will sit them at the table and will come and serve them. Christ here, we are told in the coming eschatology, will be the servant and will undertake his true and sacrificial role in the cross of the suffering servant. Finally, Jesus uses the analogy of the householder not knowing when the thief might come and would not know when his house might be broken into, so we must all be ready for the son of man returning and his coming at an unexpected hour. There are two ways to interpret these words concerning the thief and our being ready for the return of Christ must be interpreted not only as his physical and actual return of Christ but we must always be in a state of spiritual readiness for the presence and relationship of Christ as he knocks at the door of our souls and our lives.
This ends my limited and awkward attempt at seeking an understanding of these words of Christ, the savior of the world and the maker of the cosmos and the universe. I am grateful for this chance and opportunity to look at and try to gain the meaning of the words of Jesus and urge you dear friends and readers and thinkers to return always to the biblical text and read and reread the words of the eternal god as he speaks to us in his word and from the precincts of heaven in the presence of all the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven in communion with the holy trinity. Let me add some few words on this passage from Luke and these are I have some difficulty in understanding comparing the return of Jesus to a thief and a house being broken into; I find he use of this analogy somewhat puzzling, although I do understand the analogy, its use, as I said, is somewhat puzzling.