Sermon #88 Luke Sermons
Title: “Christ will Gird Himself and Serve Us!”
Text: Luke 12:35-40
Subject: Waiting for the Savior
Date: Sunday Evening—
Tape # X-29a
“When He calls us home to heaven,
At His table we’ll sit down.
Christ will gird Himself and serve us
With sweet manna all around!”
“Christ will gird Himself and serve us”—Can that be true? Indeed it is! “Christ will gird himself and serve us!” That is the title of my message. Just roll that thought around in your heart.—“Christ will gird himself and serve us!” That is what he has promised in Luke 12:37.
The Lord Jesus has just told
us, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (v. 34). He
has been urging us to set our hearts upon eternity, to set our hearts upon
things above, to seek the
Proposition: In this passage, our great Savior turns our hearts and minds heavenward by telling us what we may rightfully expect in eternity, when our Father gives us his kingdom.
(Luke 12:35-40) "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; (36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (37) Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. (38) And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. (39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. (40) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
These are needful, instructive lessons. May God the Holy Spirit graciously inscribe them upon our hearts.
I. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants (vv. 35-36).
That is true of us all. Like it or not the Son of God is your Lord and Master. Sooner or later you will bow to him and acknowledge him as such. But he is your Lord and mine. And we are his servants. We may be loyal, faithful, obedient servants, or rebellious servants; but we are his servants. As such, it is our responsibility to serve him. In verses 35 and 36 he admonishes us to serve him.
I am calling for you who are yet rebels to our Master to cease from your rebellion and bow to Christ’s dominion. And I am calling for you who are his, as I call for my own soul, to ever be dressed and ready for the Master.
(Luke 12:35-36) "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; (36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately."
The New International Version reads—"35Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like 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.
The Amplified Version gives this translation—35”Keep your loins girded and your lamps burning, 36And be like men who are waiting for their master to return home from the marriage feast, so that when he returns from the wedding and comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.”
In these two verses our Lord tells us how we are to serve him.
A. If we would serve the Lord, we must wear the dress of his servants.—We must be dressed.
When our Lord says, “Let your loins be girded about,” the words might be translated, “Be dressed and ready for service.” The only way we can be dressed for God is to be dressed by God with the garments of salvation, the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.—We must be dressed by God. Yet, we must dress ourselves.—Only God can give us the righteousness of Christ. Yet, we must put on Christ by faith.
(Ecclesiastes 9:8) "Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment."
(Isaiah 52:1) "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."
(Isaiah 61:10) "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
(Zechariah 3:1-5) "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (2) And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (4) And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (5) And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by."
(Luke 16:22) "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried."
B. As the servants of Christ, we are here called to a state of constant readiness.
(Luke 12:35) "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;"
1. Our loins must be girded about. We are not left to guess what this means. The Scriptures tell us plainly how our loins are to be girded.
(Ephesians 6:14) "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness."
(1 Peter 1:13) "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
All God’s people were the girdle of truth, finding strength in the gospel, holding it fast unto the end. We gird up the loins of our minds with grace, pure, free, sovereign grace, looking to Christ alone for all things. Our Lord appears to be pointing us back to Exodus 12 and the first passover feast. What a picture of faith that was.
(Exodus 12:11) "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover."
2. Having our loins girded with the gospel, our Master here tells us that we must ever have our lights burning.
The word “lights” refers to portable lights, lights that are carried in our hands. It refers to our profession of faith in Christ. Our Lord’s instruction here is a condensed form of his instruction in the parable of the ten virgins.
He is saying, make certain that you have in your lamp the oil of life, the oil of grace, the Holy Spirit.—A profession of faith without the possession of grace is as useless as a lamp without oil.
“The allusion is to persons waiting at a wedding in the night, with torches and flambeaus in their hands.”—John Gill
The first thing, then, is this—Christ is our Master, and we are his servants. We are responsible to be his faithful servants. You and I who profess faith in him profess to be his servants. Let us make certain that his righteousness and grace are ours. Here’s the second thing I want you to see…
II. Though our MaSTER HAS LEFT US HERE FOR A WHILE TO SERVE HIM, HE IS COMING AGAIN (V. 36).
(Luke 12:36) "And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately."
We are servants in waiting. The Lord Jesus, as the great Bridegroom of his Church, has gone out to glory to prepare a place for his Bride, to make ready all things for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Soon, he will return from the wedding (from those final preparations for the nuptial feast, to take his Bride unto himself.
He calls for us as his servants to be in a state of constant expectation, looking for our Master’s glorious appearing, and doing everything with an eye to that great day when he shall come knocking at the door.—When the Son of God comes knocking, let us ever be ready to open the door immediately.
· Knocking in Visitations of Grace by His Word and by His Spirit.
· Knocking in The Hour of Death by His Providence.
· Knocking in His Glorious Second Advent by the Trump of God.
When Christ has, by the preaching of the Gospel, and the power of his grace, espoused all his elect unto himself, he will descend from heaven, and take his Bride to himself. We shall then be called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and enter with him into the nuptial chamber, and be forever with him. He will bring us into his banqueting house and hang the banner of his love over us!
III. Be sure you get this, third, fact. Get it. Remember it. Don’t forget it. And laugh at any pretence by any man that contradicts it.—No one knows, or can know, when the Master shall return (vv. 38-40).
(Luke 12:38-40) "And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. (39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. (40) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
· Christ is coming (Rev. 1:7).
· He will appear as a thief in the night, at a time when no one expects him.
· Therefore, we are to be constantly watching for him, serving him on the tiptoe of faith.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
(1 Corinthians 15:51-58) "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
IV. Now, look at verse 37, and hang onto your seat. This is our Master’s promise to every sinner washed in his blood, robed in the garments of salvation, waiting on and watching for him—“Christ will gird himself and serve us!”
“When He calls us home to heaven,
At His table we’ll sit down.
Christ will gird Himself and serve us
With sweet manna all around!”
(Luke 12:37) "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them."
NIV—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.”
AMP—37”Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are those servants whom the master finds awake and alert and watching when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will gird himself and have them recline at table and will come and serve them!”
I am sure that I don’t understand all that I know about what is here revealed by our Master; but I’ll just tell you what I know and trust God the Holy Spirit to give us understanding concerning it.
A. I know this—Believers are men and women who are waiting on, serving, and looking for Christ our Master, our Lord and King, to return.
(Titus 2:11-14) "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
B. I know this, too—When the Lord Jesus comes again, we shall be blessed, happy, joyful, delighted beyond imagination, so gloriously and fully blessed that we shall forever be the envy of all the world that now despises us.
(Romans 8:18) "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
(1 Corinthians 2:9) "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
(Ephesians 2:7) "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
(1 John 3:1-2) "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
C. And I know this—The Lord Jesus Christ, our Master, our King, our Savior, our God will cause us to recline, rest, and sit down at his table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and will serve us in all the greatness of his glory.
What a statement! What an astounding prospect! What a mystery! I have read of examples in history in which a Master highly honored his servants, giving them great gifts in appreciation for their service, even adopting them as their children. But I have found no parallel to this in history. Never was there a Master who served his servants! But our Master here declares that he shall serve us in Glory Land!—He will serve us without measure or limitation, delighting for us to have and enjoy all that he has, all that he enjoys, and all that he is! There is no degree of honor, glory, happiness, and bliss that the Lord Jesus Christ will withhold fro us in eternity.—“Christ shall gird himself and serve us!”
· He always has served us—As Our Covenant Surety!
· He served us while he was on the earth—As Our Divine Substitute!
(Luke 22:27) "For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth."
(John 13:4-5) "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. (5) After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."
· He is serving us now—As Our Advocate, King, and High Priest!
· He shall serve us forever!
(Luke 22:18) "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come."
(Isaiah 25:6) "And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined."
(Revelation 7:17) "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Christ is that Servant who refuses to go out free, who refuses to quit serving!
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
Then, and only then, will we begin to “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the fulness of God!”