Luke 12:47

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.

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Luke 12:47 in Other Translations

KJV
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
ESV
47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.
NLT
47 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished.
MSG
47 "The servant who knows what his master wants and ignores it, or insolently does whatever he pleases, will be thoroughly thrashed.
CSB
47 And that slave who knew his master's will and didn't prepare himself or do it will be severely beaten.

Luke 12:47 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 12:47

And that servant which knew his Lord's will
Not his secret, but his revealed will; the will of God, which lies in the declarations of his grace and mercy in the Gospel, and in the commands and ordinances expressed in his word; and which are the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God; the knowledge of which is necessary, in order to practice: and where there is a spiritual and saving knowledge, there will be practice: but there may be knowledge, where there is no practice, and which was the case here: Christ here distinguishes between wicked servants, some being knowing, and others ignorant; and accordingly the aggravations of their guilt are more or less:

and prepared not
himself; so the Arabic and Ethiopic versions supply, but the Syriac version, "for him", that is, for his Lord: but it may as well be read as in the Vulgate Latin, without any supplement, "and prepared not"; he took no thought nor care about doing it; there is no preparation, readiness, nor disposition, in a natural man, to the will of God: no man is prepared or ready to do it, but he that is regenerated, or is made a new creature; who has the laws of God written on his heart, and who has the Spirit of God put within him, to cause him to keep them; and who has faith in Christ, and strength from him to observe them; but there may be knowledge, where such a preparation is wanting; persons may know much, and profess to know more, and in works deny all, and be to every good work, unfit, disobedient, and reprobate: this clause is left out in the Persic version:

neither did according to his will;
the will of God is done aright, when what is done, is done according to the command of God, in the strength of Christ, from love to him, in the exercise of faith on him, and with a view to his glory, and without any dependence on what is done; but there may be knowledge, without any thing of this: the words, "neither did", are wanting in the Syriac version: and such a man that has knowledge without practice,

shall be beaten with many stripes;
alluding to the law of the Jews, by which a wicked man was to be punished, by beating him with stripes, not exceeding, forty, according to the nature of his fault, ( Deuteronomy 25:2 Deuteronomy 25:3 ) and here it signifies, that persons who have light and knowledge, and the means thereof, and act not according to them, shall be punished with the greatest severity, and endure the greatest degree of torments in hell; see ( Matthew 11:21-24 )

Luke 12:47 In-Context

45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, 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 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the 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.
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

Cross References 1

  • 1. Deuteronomy 25:2
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