Sunday, February 10, 2013

Be Ready 準備をしましょう

  Luke 12:35~48
Be ready  ~  for His return.
The Second Coming of Christ is called “The Blessed Hope” for many Believers.  One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ' second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books speaks of it.  In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ--an amazing one out of every 30 verses.  Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.  For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first advent, there are EIGHT that look forward to His Second Coming!
It really matters how we look at things.  IF THE ONLY TOOL YOU HAVE IS A HAMMER, YOU TEND TO SEE EVERY PROBLEM AS A NAIL.  In one light, we see thus and so but with a different light, we can see a whole more of the item.  A number of years ago, after a football game was finished and the score was 51-ZERO, the coach spoke to his defeated players and gave them this perspective: “Men, let's keep this in perspective. There are 800 million Chinese who don't even know this game was played."  Perspective is crucial.  When we are going through some of life’s experiences, we might see things as hopeless or pointless.  But with hindsight, we can appreciate our history.  Things come into focus and sometimes we even learn a great lesson.  Sometimes!
When Goliath came against the Israelites, they thought, “He is so big we can never kill him!  David said “He is to big I can’t miss!
When we have a perspective in our life, things could work out in two directions.  When we look back, reflectively, we might consider what has happened in relation to the events that happened.  But perspective thinking might also cause us to see the potential; of what might be.  We can act now in light of what we hope to happen in the years ahead. 
If a young couple starts saving for their daughter or son’s college years when they were born, the potential is high that there will be needed cash for them when they need it.  That is hard to do because it provides us with discipline and involves faith and that counts on things to happen that have not yet occurred…salary decrease, etc.
Believers are to live prospectively.  We know that our Savior will return—in the future and that we will need to give an account for our lives—our stewardship.  In our passage today, we can see three images or metaphors to aid us in living prospectively.
1)    The parable of being prepared 35-36
2)    The parable of waiting for the Son of Man 39-40
3)    The parable of the kinds of stewards 41-48.
Read Lk 12:35-48. Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 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.
47 “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
ルカ12:35 腰に帯を締めあかりをともしていなさい
36 主人が婚礼から帰って来て戸をたたいたらすぐに戸をあけよ帰りを待ち受けている人たちでありなさい
主は言われた。「では主人からしもべたちを任されて食事時には彼らに食べ物を与える忠実な賢い管理人とはいったいだれでしょ43 主人が帰って来たときににしているを見られるしもべは幸いです44 わたしは真実をあなたがたに告げます主人は彼に自分全財産を任せるよになります45 ところがもししもべが、『主人帰りはまだだと心中で重い下男や下女を打ちたたき食べたり飲んだり酒に酔ったりし始めると46 しもべ主人は思いがけない日思わぬ時間に帰ってきますそして彼をきびしく罰して不忠実な者どもと同じめに会わせるに違いありません47 主人心を知りながら思いどおりに用意もせず働きもしなかったしもべはひどくむち打たれます48 しかし知らずにいたためにむち打たれるよなことをしたしもべは打たれても少しで済みますすべて多く与えられた者は多く求められ多く任された者は多く要求されます
All three parables cause us to look to the future.
The MAIN point is that Jesus wants to make sure His disciples are prepared for what is to come. 
   On May 19th, 1780, while the Congress was in session, the sky over the city darkened threateningly, and some of the legislators, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand.  Repressing a clamor for immediate adjournment, the Speaker rose and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not.  If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment.  If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty.  Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."  Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns.  Instead of fearing the dark, we're to be lights as we watch and wait.
Faith means trusting God. Not only for our eternity but also for our today.  And by walking faithfully with Him until He comes—that becomes our goal.
What God DOES affects what we DO—sometimes—when we live life prospectively. 将来する。(予期される, 見込みの)
Two images are clearly put in front of us.  1. Be dressed ready for service and 2. keep the lamps burning.  You can see the picture in your mind of a man tying up a garment around the waist as a picture of readiness.  To be able to move quickly.  Not burdened with lots of things and weights.  Not being hampered with extra luggage. 
1 Peter 1:13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the Grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. ペテロ手紙 第一 1:13 ですからあなたがたは心を引き締め身を慎みイエスキリスト現れときあなたがたにもたらされる恵みをひたすら待ち望みなさい
KEEP yourself ready—at all times.  Don’t let your guard down.  A battle is still to be fought.  Keep a watchful eye on what goes on around you.  Seeing these lamps burning—ready even at night—adds a deep sense of watchfulness…even in the dark hours of the night-you MUST be ready.  Watching the times: as in the five wise virgins in Matt 25:1-13.  They were ready but the other five were not—they were foolish!  (Check that out yourself…which are you?)
Jesus, in the middle of this parable, makes a comparison.  Some servants are ready for the return of their master while others are not.  Since wedding feast might last one week long, the servant is not certain when his master will leave the party and come home.  He must be ready at all times!  Not always predictable.  Disciples of Jesus need that kind of readiness.  To live with the same expectation!  Is He coming in five min?  Five hours?  Is He at the gate?!?
He then gives a blessing (a beatitude) “It will be good…blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when He comes.”  But there is a twist with this story: When THIS master returns, HE WILL BE DOING THE SERVING!  The Chief Steward leads the stewards in service.  Jesus shows us how.  We are to do what He did.  He served the down cast, the broken, the sick, the aged, the poor, the slave, the one who is hated, the one who is abused.  That is who Jesus servers.
And when He comes back and serves us, He will show us how important service to others really is.  He places a very high premium on service.  Here we see God’s Grace at work as He serves us.  This suggests very boldly the blessing of being totally accepted by the Lord Jesus.  HIS LOVE IS BOTH COMPLETE and TRUE.

Jesus keeps us in the dark as to WHEN He will return.  The second or third watch?—both in the Roman and Hebrew time references—are within a general time frame.  Either way, it is “deep night”, somewhere between midnight and 2:00 AM.  Also, the disciple MUST be ready at all times.  Constant vigilance is expected.
It is here during these waiting times we are to watch and pray.  Keeping an active watch over our souls.  Keeping our hearts from any shade of evil.  Running away from the temptations that had easily caused us to fall before.  We are to be pure; Holy Servants of the Lord.  Seeking His best.  Doing His Will.  Calling others to follow our lead in our Walk of Faith.  Teaching others the Way of Jesus.  Active waiting.  Not slipping into a dull unawareness of Life around us.  By being Proactive.  Praying.  Witnessing.  Testifying of God’s Grace in our lives.  These are the words that are in the Parable!
Waiting   with knowledge and understanding and wisdom/ ask for it all!
Immediately open to His voice, His direction, His way
Watching   with open eyes.
Finds they ready  Not asleep, alert, with the right stuff
Must be ready   again
Finds doing so   action not passive
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.
Therefore, in all matters of life, be ready, with an answer for the Faith I have… with short list of issues… with an open heart.
Have you been robbed?  Has anyone you know had their home broken into?  There is a sense of being personally abused.  Your things touched by this thief.  Your personal items handled—some taken.  You have been violated. 
Jesus draws our attention to this home invasion.  A thief robs a house at night.  I am told if they want something of yours and you have it made safe, they can still take it.  A motorcycle CHAINED to an oak tree—man came back and the tree was cut down with a note: “I wanted it so I took it!”  私はそれを取った私はそれを望んでいた "
IF you knew when the thief was going to enter your home, you would feel safe, but the truth is, thieves don’t tell you: “At 3:15 AM I am coming into your living room by the hall entrance.  I will steal all that you have.  私はあなたが持っているすべてを盗むよになる315分に私はホール入り口であなたリビングルームに入ってくる召しあがり頂けます
It is true that a person will not leave his home exposed if he knew a thief was going to rob him, so it is with a Disciple of Jesus.  He should be ready for the Lord to return…at any time. We don’t know the hour so we need to be ready.  In this passage, we see a spiritual disclosure in the lack of being prepared.  The risks of being totally unprepared are great!
A question comes up as we look at these parables: what makes a steward good?  In the old days, a steward would have been left in charge of all the domestic affairs when his master is gone.  His full job is to care for all the other people in the master’s household.  Care for their welfare, he would provide food and shelter and protection.  The role of being THE caregiver would take his whole day and might last for one week—ten years.  However, with all that responsibility, his job as steward was to serve, never to exercise power over others.  (In the church, we are to serve not have power over the other—same as in a marriage…in any relationship…service)
Very often we might be thinking of waiting as an attitude of the mind while Jesus sees it as something that is active.  A life lived is marked by constant service to God is a life lived prospectively.  A life that is filled with a Godly future is a life worth living.
The Master returns and finds his steward ready for him.  He is pleased.  He rewards the steward with honor and with promotion.  I really don’t understand how that is done or what it is that is done but the Bible speaks about a promotion.  Our faithfulness will be honored.  I believe that is a very good thing.
Now on the other hand, the steward might not be ready.  Three different stewards show up.
The steward who is evil.   The steward who is lacking.   The steward who is not all what he should be.  All 3 loose out on life!
The first one is called “unfaithful” and receives not only a beating but this beating is mortal and he is totally separated from any joy.  This is a total rejection of any mercy AND leads to deep and painful death—not a mere punishment.  He is dismembered or mutilated.  He will cut him into pieces.”  While this is harsh it is more than just unsatisfactory service: he is set out into utter darkness where he is, as found in Matthew 24:51, マタイ 24:51 そして彼を厳しく罰して報いを偽善者たちと同じにするに違いありませんしもべはそこで泣いて歯ぎしりするですplaced among the hypocrites where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  He is Evil!
Along with them are the ones who are false teachers.  Those who take the things of God and twist them to satisfy their own lust.  Acts 20:28-32  gives us a warning about them. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own Blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard!  Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
The second unfaithful steward is something less than the blatantly disobedient steward.  This one suffers a beating “with many blows”. He or she is the unfaithful steward that lacks full knowledge.
The third is one who does not know the Master is telling the truth. He knows what is required of him but he just does not care.  He is given much—a whole lot, in fact, yet it does not move him to action.  Much is expected of this steward and much will be demanded of him.  The one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.  What will the answer be?
“I did not know!”  “I did not expect Him to come at all!”  “I thought it was just a story!”  OR  “Here, my lamp is burning and I am dress ready for service.” 
Where is your heart? Some have said: Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.  Augustine
Please keep wearing our work clothes and keep the lamps burning, looking for the Lord's return by serving Him faithfully.