Discipleship Lessons from Luke: Watchfulness

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the eighth of nine sermons in our series on ‘Discipleship Lessons from Luke’. This sermon is on ‘Watchfulness’. Preacher: The Rev’d Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: Luke 12:35-48

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: Luke 12:35-48

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants 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. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 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. 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.

“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. 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.


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CONNECT: What is one area of worry (or tendency to worry) in your life? How can Jesus’ teaching in these verses help alleviate you of worry?

WARM-UP Question

  1. How do you go when you’re waiting for something that’s really important to you?

READ Luke 12:35-40 (Waiting Expectantly)

  1. What did it look like for the servants to be ‘ready’ and ‘waiting’ for their master to return? What would have taken to be so ready that they could immediately open the door even after a single knock?

  2. Can you think of an example in your life in which you have had to be that ready? What did it involve?

  3. What does the master do when he finds the servants ready? Why is this so radical and good?

  4. How does it make you feel to think about how delighted Jesus would be if he finds us ready upon his return? Why do you think this is such an exciting proposition?

  5. What is the point of the second story regarding the potential burglary? If we know that Jesus will return at any moment, what helps you be more aware of that reality? What hinders your awareness?

  6. For Christians, what is the main implication that Jesus’ return is certain but the time is unknown? For Not-Yet-Christians, what is the main implication that Jesus’ return is certain but the time is unknown?

READ Luke 12:41-48 (Working Faithfully)

  1. What question does Peter ask? Why do you think he was so keen to know? What is the ‘short’ answer?

  2. According to the parable, what makes for a faithful and wise manager? How might this apply to people who have a leadership or teaching role in the church today? How does this apply to everyone else?

  3. What do you think it would like for you - tomorrow - to be living in a manner like the Lord Jesus could arrive at absolutely any moment?

  4. What are the three different scenarios with regard to (a) knowledge of God’s will, and (b) people’s behaviour? Why do all of those scenarios deserve punishment?

  5. If our faithfulness will be judged, how can we be confident therefore of our salvation?

  6. Read the last sentence of verse 48 again. What opportunity and responsibility has God given you?

APPLY: What is one practical way to grow your daily expectancy of Jesus’ return?


Gracious Lord, how we pray that when you return that you would find us ready - waiting expectantly and working faithfully for you. Please increase our awareness that your return is certain. Please increase our obedience that we will seek and respond to your will alone. May we live everyday with the assumption that today could be the day that you return. Amen.