"Be dressed and ready to serve. Keep your lamps burning.
Be like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding dinner. When he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once.
"It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready when he comes. What I'm about to tell you is true. The master will then dress himself so he can serve them. He will have them take their places at the table. And he will come and wait on them.
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready. It will even be good if he comes very late at night.
"But here is what you must understand. Suppose the owner of the house knew at what hour the robber was coming. He would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be ready. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you don't expect him."
Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this story to us, or to everyone?"
The Lord answered, "Suppose a master puts one of his servants in charge of his other servants. The servant's job is to give them the food they are to receive at the right time. The master wants a faithful and wise manager for this.
It will be good for the servant if the master finds him doing his job when the master returns.
What I'm about to tell you is true. The master will put that servant in charge of everything he owns.
"But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time to come back.' Suppose he begins to beat the other servants. Suppose he feeds himself. And suppose he drinks until he gets drunk.
The master of that servant will come back on a day the servant doesn't expect him. He will return at an hour the servant doesn't know. Then the master will cut him to pieces. He will send him to the place where unbelievers go.
"Suppose a servant knows his master's wishes. But he doesn't get ready. And he doesn't do what his master wants. That servant will be beaten with many blows.
"But suppose the servant does not know his master's wishes. And suppose he does things for which he should be punished. He will be beaten with only a few blows. "Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. Even more will be asked of the person who is supposed to take care of much.