One of the less popular areas of theology, at least in the West, is the teaching concerning the second coming of Jesus. Part of the reason for this is that many Christians in the West are worldly and have grown up in wealth. They are akin to a rich man who only thinks of building bigger barns, not conscious of the fleeting quality of life, or the fact that Jesus is returning. However, one of the patent points of the parables of Jesus is that he is returning again and that in the meantime he has entrusted his people with an important task. Watchfulness and faithfulness are the necessary.
B. Questions for Discussion
1. Not knowing the time of Jesus’ coming does not mean lack of preparedness. Can we even say that not knowing the hour of Jesus’ coming does not even entail surprise?
2. In this parable, the person who is going to give an account is a manager or steward. What does this point suggest, as we seek to apply it to our lives? What are the most important qualities of a manager?
3. In letter 11 of C.S. Lewis’ Screw Tape Letters, he writes: “My only fear is lest in attempting to hurry the patient you awaken him to a sense of his real position….For this reason I am almost glad to hear that he is still a churchgoer and a communicant [at church]. Murder is no better than cards, if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one, the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones without signposts.” Does this quote illumine this parable? What are your reflections?
4. Are there gradations of sin and punishment in this parable? If so, what insights can we gain from this point?
5. Surely, this parable is a warning, but does it necessarily have an ominous cast? Can is be great news of encouragement? If so, how?