Who Said, “To Whom Much is Given Much Is Required?” Jesus said this about two thousand years ago. President John F Kennedy also quoted this verse in a speech in 1963 at Vanderbilt University. Jesus spoke these words as the punch line to His teaching. So, examining this parable helps us understand why Jesus taught it. (Find many more answers to your questions here).
For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required. And from him to whom much was entrusted, much will be asked. Luke 12:48
The Faithful and Wise Servant (Luke 12:42-48)
Introduction, the Previous Parable
In this parable, Jesus adds to His teaching from the previous parable of The Watching Slaves (12:36-40):
You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect (Luke 12:40.”
Jesus teaches us to be always ready, living as we should while we await His return. Other Bible passages tell us we should pray to ask Him to return and bring us to our heavenly home.
The Parable of the Faithful and Wise Servant
Jesus Faithful Servants are Rewarded
“The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his house servants, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?”
Jesus rewards His servants in eternity for how we live our lives in this current world. God created humanity to rule the earth. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, will be the human King in eternity, and His faithful servants will help Him.
Jesus’ Faithful Servants are Blessed
“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.”
Jesus’ servants know His return will be soon, but we don’t know the exact time. This truth helps us to always stay on task. Jesus promises that what we receive for faithful service will be worth it. It’ll be a blessing!
“Truly, I say to you, he will appoint him over all his possessions.”
In other places, Jesus promises us a hundredfold return on our sacrifices for Him.
Jesus’ Unfaithful Servants are Disciplined
“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master delays his coming,’ and begins to beat the house servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not look for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him to pieces and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”
In contrast, Jesus’ unfaithful servant doesn’t stay alert and watch for His return. Because they don’t, they don’t live wisely. They may live by the motto, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Because they live a sloppy life now, they’ll lose eternal rewards. And that’s a long time to pay for a wasted life now.
Jesus’ Expectations are Proportionate
Knowing and Ignorance
“That servant who knew his master’s will, but did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
Jesus contrasts the fate of the person who knows right but does wrong with the person who does wrong out of ignorance. Educating ourselves and knowing what to do is better, but only when we practice what we’ve learned.
“But he who unknowingly committed acts worthy of punishment shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required. And from him to whom much was entrusted, much will be asked.”
The person who is ignorant and does wrong is disciplined but to a lesser degree than a person who willfully disobeys. And the more gifted person is responsible for doing more than one with lesser gifts. That’s why Jesus (and John F. Kennedy) said, “to whom much is given, of him much shall be required.