But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given. - Luke 12:48
In the so-called “Gender Wars,” some women have made harsh statements about men, and the men have not exactly taken it lying down! Having said that, both sides did get some things right. For instance, the women who said that men needed to “get in touch with their feminine side” were making a fair point, even though they went overboard in making it. Men do need to recognize that masculinity is not all about muscular machos making mayhem. Men can and should be gentle and considerate! The women also said that men should stop being cowboys and lone rangers, and that they should be willing to be vulnerable enough to make intimate friendships—even to be accountable to others for their actions! Vulnerability, gentleness, consideration, and accountability are not purely feminine traits, though. They are masculine traits as well.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus referred to accountability more than once. He predicted both his departure to his Father and his coming again to establish his eternal kingdom. Using the analogy of a rich landowner who had gone away, leaving his affairs in the care of a trusted servant, Jesus said his disciples were his servants and, like the landowner, he would return and evaluate their lives. Jesus’ coming again would not be advertised in advance any more than a thief would advertise his arrival to divest an owner of his property. It was incumbent on the servant to be ready. Jesus explained, “Be dressed for service and well prepared, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast” (Luke 12:35-36).
The thought of being held accountable by their master is a challenge to Christ’s disciples. It serves as a powerful motivating factor. But it is not designed to strike fear into their hearts. The Lord said standards of evaluation would be based on opportunities presented and responses to opportunity. Using dramatic hyperbolic language, Jesus described the lot of the servants who blatantly abuse their positions (12:46-47). He also explained, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given” (12:48).
That raises a question: How much is much and how much more is much more? Perhaps the answer is found in the Lord’s description of the kind of servant he is looking for. He had in mind a “faithful, sensible servant” (12:42)—“faithful” in the steady, consistent fulfilling of duties and obligations with joy and delight; and “sensible” in that the servant is very much aware of the impact of grace, the bestowal of privilege, and the embracing of opportunity.
Faithful, sensible servants have nothing to fear—their Lord is faithful and sensible, too!
For Further Study: Luke 12:35-48