Parable of the Just Steward (Luke 12:42-48)

Parables are the short and image-rich stories chosen by Jesus to express invisible spiritual realities: the advent of the Kingdom of God, the purpose of man’s life on Earth, etc. Here the gospel of Luke tells us the parable of the just steward, that is, the wise servant who obeys the Lord, in opposition to the disobedient servant. Discover what Jesus meant through these words.

The Parable of the Just Steward in Chapter 12 of the Gospel of Luke


 “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.” 

(Luke 12:42-48)

To be the Lord's faithful servant

In the parable of the just steward, Jesus takes the example of an obedient servant executing the demands of his master. Then he presents the opposite example, the servant taking advantage of the absence of the master to act in bad faith. The parable ends by recalling that not all are judged equally, those who know the commandments of God will have to account for their actions to a greater extent than those who do not know them. This parable echoes the parable of the bags of gold where Jesus reminds us that everyone is given a certain number of gifts in life. Not all receive the same graces and everyone must give in proportion to what they receive.

To bear fruit is to live the commandments of God where the Lord has placed us, staying in his Divine will on a daily basis to carry out every action, even the most ordinary, with Him. Thus, the well-informed person will always be ready, no matter when the Lord calls him to account for his life: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13).

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