Some of Jesus’ teachings were meant for multitudes of followers, while at other times he taught only his disciples. There are some occasions we cannot be sure who he was talking to, nor if he meant the present time or prophesied of future events. Did you know that sometimes the Apostles wondered about the same things?
Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Luke 12:41-43
To the disciples, the multitude and to those of us who read his words today, the message is the same: Be found doing the master’s will when he comes. We are to be the wise and faithful managers (good stewards) of all our resources. It’s not about a tithe required by law, it’s about being just to God’s children. We must steward our time and energy as well as our finances. We must look after widows and orphans, feed the hungry and clothe those in need, and we must share the Gospel with the nations. We each must consider others more than self, do to others what we would have done to us, we must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves. Christ said – to those listening that day and by extension those who read his words today – if we give a cup of water to the least of his children it’s as if we did it to him.
This history of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament can teach those who read it a lot about God. The Law, the Writings and the Prophets were quoted by Jesus in a New Testament context and in ways that applied to his ministry in the first century. The Apostle Paul used the history of Sarah and Hagar as an allegory of two covenants. The parables and sermons of Jesus, and the epistles written to the early church, applied to the people at that time and to those following Christ in this day and age.
We must be about the Father’s business. Peter asked if the parable was for them or all believers. And Jesus answered “Yes.”