Luke 12:45
But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
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(45) To beat the menservants.—Literally, the boys, but in the sense which the word had acquired, like the French garçon, as used generally for servants of any age. Note the more specific terms as compared with the “fellow-servants” of St. Matthew.

Luke 12:45-46. But and if that servant, &c. — On the other hand, consider attentively the character and punishment of a bad servant, that you may avoid both. If any steward, who has the care of his lord’s family committed to him, yielding to the evil of his own disposition, shall take occasion from his lord’s long absence to behave unfaithfully in his duty; and shall begin to beat the men-servants, &c. — Shall behave tyrannically toward his fellow-servants, and give himself up to gluttony and drunkenness, wasting their provisions in living riotously with his companions. The lord of that servant will come when he looketh not for him — Such a course of rioting will stupify that servant, so that he will not foresee his lord’s coming, nor know of it till he is in the house, and shall have exemplary punishment inflicted upon him, proportionable to the greatness of his offences: and will cut him in sunder, &c. — See on Matthew 24:51; and appoint him his portion — His everlasting portion; with the unbelievers — His wickedness having proceeded from his not believing the rewards and punishments of a future state, he shall have his portion in that state with such as were of those Sadducean principles. The Greek, μετα των απιστων, may be properly rendered, with the unfaithful: as faithful as he once was, Christ himself being judge, he becomes unfaithful, and has his eternal portion with the unfaithful. This circumstance, it must be observed, is added according to the meaning, rather than the form of the parable, and is explanatory of that meaning.

12:41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in his word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. There was to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that took place, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far different from that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must endure sufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach the gospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.See the notes at Matthew 24:42-51.

Second watch - See the notes at Matthew 14:25.

45. begin to beat, &c.—In the confidence that his Lord's return will not be speedy, he throws off the role of servant and plays the master, maltreating those faithful servants who refuse to join him, seizing on and revelling in the fulness of his master's board; intending, when he has got his fill, to resume the mask of fidelity ere his master appear. See Poole on "Luke 12:45"

But and if that servant say in his heart,.... Not the same servant before spoken of as a wise and faithful steward, that gives to all in the family the portion of meat in due season, and shall be found doing, and be made ruler over his master's goods but another, who also, as he, is made by his Lord ruler over his household, and is in a like post, and in the same office, but is an "evil servant", as Matthew calls him, to distinguish him from the other; and so the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read here:

my Lord delayeth his coming; though a wicked servant, he calls Christ his Lord; but it is not saying Lord, Lord, that will be of any avail, but doing the will of God, by believing in Christ, and obeying his commands: he had a notion of the coming of Christ, though he did not desire it; and because he tarried longer than was expected, supposed him to be slack concerning his promise, and began to think, and hope, and at length to believe, that he would not come at all, and therefore gave himself up to a wicked and licentious way of living:

and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens; to persecute the ministers of the Gospel, and the true disciples of Christ, the undefiled virgins, that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes:

and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken: to live a voluptuous and sensual life, to give himself up to intemperance and debauchery: and, generally speaking, as professors of religion, when they turn apostates, are the most violent persecutors of the saints; so such persecutors of Christ's, faithful followers are commonly drunkards and debauchees; See Gill on Matthew 24:48, See Gill on Matthew 24:49.

But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luke 12:45-46. But if that slave, whom the lord will place over his servants as οἰκονόμος (Luke 12:42), instead of being faithful, shall have thought, etc.

Moreover, see on Matthew 26:48-51.

μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστ.] with the faithless (Luke 12:42), whose final destiny is the punishment of Gehenna (Luke 12:5).

Luke 12:45. ἐὰν δὲ: introducing supposition of an abuse of power, conceived possible even in the case of an apostle, of a Peter. Let no proud ecclesiastic therefore say, Is thy servant a dog?—χρονίζει: a delayed παρουσία, a prominent thought in our Lord’s later utterances. The delay may possibly be long enough to allow time for the utter demoralisation of even the higher officials. Vide on Mt.—τοὺς παῖδας, etc., the men- and maidservants, instead of συνδούλους in Mt.—διχοτομήσει: the retention of this strong word by Lk., who seems to have it for one of his aims to soften harsh expressions, is noticeable, especially when he understands it as referring to the Apostles, and even to Peter. It makes for the hypothesis that the word means not to cut into two as with a saw, but either to lash unmercifully, to cut to pieces in popular parlance, or to separate from the household establishment (Beza, Grotius, etc.).—μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων points to degradation from the confidential position of οἰκονόμος to a place among the unfaithful; dismissed, or imprisoned, or set to drudging service.

45. say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming] Ecclesiastes 8:11. It was not long before the temptation to use this language arose with fatal results, 2 Peter 3:8-9.

Luke 12:45. [Δὲ, but) Hereby is implied the great contrast there is between the conduct of the servant then, and his feeling now, when retribution overtakes him.—V. g.]—ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν, to eat and to drink) These constitute the act: μεθύσκεσθαι, to be drunken, to give way to intoxication, denotes the habit.

Verses 45, 46. - But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware. "But," continued the Master, "although certain of my servants have onlooks to higher degrees of glory than the great mass of their fellows, these seemingly favored ones have at the same time more perilous responsibilities; and only if in these graver responsibilities they are faithful to the end, will they receive their high and peculiar reward." If, on the other hand, they fail in their perpetual watch for the coming of their Lord, and instead of the restless toil which the Master has assigned to these stewards, these servants, weighted with higher responsibilities, give themselves up to worldly pleasures and passions, terrible will be their doom. Again the excesses of the table are specially mentioned. If, instead of spending themselves in the cares of their high office, they make a profit out of that office, if they live as oppressors of the flock rather than as shepherds, then to these unfaithful stewards will the Lord suddenly come, as pictured in the parable imagery, a thief in the night. And will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. The terrible punishment here specified was not unknown among the ancients (see Herodotus, 7:39; and Hebrews 11:37). Isaiah was said to have been sawn asunder. Bengel's comment is curious: "Qui cor divisum habet, dividetur." It has been suggested, to bring the punishment into harmony with the statement immediately following, which speaks of a definite and, perhaps, of an enduring position for the guilty one, a "portion with the unbelievers," to understand the word as an equivalent for scourging; so in the Latin we find flagellis discindere, to scourge the back with the rod. There is, however, no known instance of the Greek word διχοτομεῖν being used in this sense. The expression is, however, used as simply implying that a terrible doom is surely reserved in the life to come for those who have so sadly misused their high opportunities and neglected their great responsibilities. "The image of the parable itself is blended with the reality which the parable signifies; this thought of the human master who can punish his slaves with temporal death passes into that of the Divine Judge who can punish with spiritual death" (Dean Mansel). Luke 12:45Delayeth

The emphatic word, since the thought of the lord's delay and of the postponement of the reckoning is uppermost in the servant's thought.

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