Luke 12:46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
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Isaiah 2:12, "For the Day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty and upon everyone that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low." In this twelfth chapter of Luke, Jesus gives parables and warnings. Luke 12:5, "But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear. Fear him which after he hath killed hath the power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you fear him." 1 Thessalonians 5:3, "For when they say 'peace and safety,' then sudden destruction comes upon them...and they shall not escape." Luke 12:46, When the servant is unfaithful to his word, suddenly the Lord will come and cut him in sunder. What does that mean? In the ancient world it was an expression to say, “Judgment is coming!” Luke 12:35, "Let your loins be girded about and your lights be burning." Be ready! You do not know when He is coming! In Luke 19:13, the ten servants are told to "occupy 'till I come." Elvis would say, “TCB! Take care of business!" Remember Genesis 7? A flood of judgment came upon the earth. Only 8 survived. They were separated and saved because they listened to God. Others, how many we do not know, were "cut in two" (cut asunder) for refusing to act in faith! Luke 17:26,27 "As it was in the days of Noe so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives and were given in marriage until the day Noah entered the ark.." The day will come - for God does not lie - at the appointed time. As servants we are to look for our hope. We are to be steadfast. Job 8:13, "So are the paths of all that forgot God and the hypocrits hope shall perish." Job 11:20, "But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as giving up the ghost." Revelation 3:3, "...if therefore thou shalt not watch...I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Hebrews 13:21, May God "Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight." (Authorized King James) Bible WATCH STAND
In my opinion, the text translated as "will cut him in pieces" could be referring not to dismemberment, but to severe non-lethal punishment such as the lacerations caused by flogging (since there would be no point of an earthly master -- in the sense of the parable -- subsequently assigning the unfaithful servant to further punishment if he were already dead). Following such punishment, the unfaithful servant is then consigned to an even more dire (and permanent) state.
Yes, Shirley H. I immediately thought about the return of Jesus when I read this passage. I think it’s reminding us to live ready for our master’s return. He wants our hearts and sees our actions behind closed doors. When he returns it is too late; he will separate the wheat from the chaff. He will cut of the dead branches and throw them in the fire. "Fear not someone who can destroy your body, but the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell." Matthew 10:28
The wording of what the master did sounds quite drastic, but it may not be how it was. In Luke 12:42-48, Jesus continued His talk to His disciples, in which He told them to be ready for the Master, Luke 12:35-40. This coming is most likely the pretribulational rapture, matching the Olivet Discourse section of Matthew 24:36-25:30, a new topic introduced by the words, “now concerning,” Matthew 24:36. Some of the same features are found in both passages: burning lamps, waiting and watching, the unknown time of the Lord’s appearing, and the imagery of the thief. The servants represent believers belonging to the same Master. Just as there are different kinds of workers in life, there are different kinds of servants among Christians, faithful and wise stewards, as well as the unfaithful and unprofitable servants. The evil servant (Matthew 24:48) thought that since it had been so long since his master left, it was not likely he was coming anytime soon. He became careless in the way he lived and callous in the way he treated others. The master will come at a time when he is not looking for him and he will be caught off-guard. This pictures the coming of the Lord who will judge every believer, good and evil, at the judgment seat of Christ, the “bema,” II Corinthians 5:10. Then in Luke 12:46 (and Matthew 24:51) is found what seems a very harsh and drastic action of the master. The Lord says the master “will cut him in two.” The sense seems to be cutting the body in half but it may not be as drastic as dismembering. It is more likely the cutting of the flesh by scourging, whipping or flogging. Besides, Matthew 24:51 sees the one “cut in two” surviving to weep and gnash teeth. This phrase is one word in Greek, “dichotomeo” (English “dichotomy”). The prefix of the word which usually means “twice” can also mean “again,” as flogging keeps splitting flesh to shreds. Luke 12:47-48 clarifies flogging is meant, “beaten with many [stripes] or beaten with few.” This does not refer to hell, but to a punishment of the believer, who will be classed with the unfaithful believers or hypocrites (Matthew 24:51). The amount of punishment will be according to how they respond to knowing the master’s will. In the parallel passage, Matthew 24:51 it adds, “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Sometimes in the seven mentions of this phrase (Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Luke 13:28), it may mean the torment in hell. But in Matthew 24:51, it does not have that meaning. Instead, it is the suffering of bitterest disappointment, sorrowful regret of displeasing the Master as illustrated by Peter who went out and wept bitterly after denying the Lord, Matthew 26:75. In this passage, a master is not cutting his servant into pieces, but scourging the one who does not rightly serve him. Believers, too, will be judged in how they serve the Lord.
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