In Luke 12:41, Peter asks Jesus: “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?”

Jesus does not answer directly, but responds with a question and a parable:

42 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? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, 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 does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 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. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Luke 12:42-48 ESV)

Does Jesus answer Peter's question in this parable? If he does, is the answer 'for us', 'for all' or something else?

  • 1
    His answer was akin to "If the shoe fits, then wear it".
    – Ruminator
    Sep 14, 2017 at 15:20
  • 1
    @Ruminator I think that captures the idea nicely. Sep 14, 2017 at 22:51

5 Answers 5


In this parable, Jesus is talking about how a good servant will behave

Luke 12 37 NKJV Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.

Jesus says if the servant is good, and stays faithful until the return he will be rewarded (basically)

Then Peter asks, is this for us, or for everyone and Jesus almost restates peters question in 42 and then almost answers 43

Your txt quoted-
42 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? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

So to get around to the answer, Jesus is talking about what makes a faithful servant who gets a reward, Peter wants to know, Is this for everyone, or just for us?

I think jesus points him right back to the parable and says its for the servant who is faithful in waiting.

So in one way its for all, like many times in the bible jesus address "all" with the full understanding that everyone wont receive the message. Kind of like the parable of scatter the seeds

Mathew 11:15
5 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

So in a way, Jesus is Addressing everyone about the specifications for being the servant described in the parable.

So Jesus response to Peter's question could be paraphrased like this:

You want to know if it applies to you, or everyone? This applies to no one - if they are not faithful, but it can apply to anyone - who is faithful.

I hope this is helpful!

  • good edit, and yes you are right on track as far as the teaching in this passage. Lets compare to the ever frightful Mathew 7:21! >“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
    – L1R
    Jun 30, 2017 at 17:29

Jesus does answer Peter's question - he answers it by distinguishing between those servants who don't know when the master will come home (in the previous parable), and those who 'knew his master's will' (in the second parable).

So Jesus tells the first parable 'for all', but the second one is specifically for his disciples - 'to whom much is given'. He warns that a more severe punishment will be handed out to the servant who abuses the extra insight he's been given in order to serve himself, who 'did not make ready or act according to his will'.


Jesus does directly answer Peter's question in Mark 13:37. Jesus was just finishing up the same teaching about staying awake, since you do not know at what hour the master will come. Right in the spot where we would expect Peter's question as it appears in Luke 12:41, we instead find his direct answer to the question, omitted in Mark 13:

35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

This is probably a good example of an "undesigned coincidence," where two or more texts seem to unintentionally support one another, as one might expect of reliable historical testimony.

  • 1
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    Mar 6 at 4:06

Jesus' reply was addressed to both present listeners, and to future consumers of the sacred written word. However, it encompassed the entire human race. My answer below is relying on the words in Isa 66:1, where God says through his prophet Isaiah: 'Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool'; and on the fact that the Greek word for spiritual heaven is Ouranos.

The beatings has to do with remorse. To after death be “beaten down”, or “struck” by remorse when realizing that there was a more glorious destiny that one missed out on; and for not having worked harder to reach it.

Thus, it seems that there are different destinies awaiting people after death. And, according to hints in the Bible, like in 2 Cor 12:2, there could be three of them.

The worst possible destiny would then be to receive a severe beating in Hell. The one above that would be to receive a light beating in the spiritual heaven. The third and highest destiny would then be to receive no beating at all in New Jerusalem. (1 Cor 3:11-15)

If the locations of these three fates are within our solar system, Saturn (and perhaps all that is beneath it) would be the destiny for evil souls, and would be referred to as Hell. Uranus would be the destination for the saved bad people, which would be the second heaven. The destination for all the saved good people would be Neptune, which would then be the third heaven and New Jerusalem.

If this is the case then New Jerusalem would, according to Rev 21, always have a permanent outpost on Uranus. And if the planets mentioned in this answer are not habitable today, they may become so in the future.


I think Jesus answers the question directly. It is about "the faithful and wise manager" (perhaps a pastor or teacher or elder or some other spiritual leader in the church), the one that his master (Jesus) sets over his household (i.e. a local church or community assembly), the one that gives God's people (the church or group he shepherds) their nourishment (the word of God and other necessities such as teachings or material goods, whatever, treating the people properly) at the proper time (whenever those teachings or resources are most needed).

Of course it is also directed toward those who are not doing what they should, in order that they would hear these words and repent and go back to being the faithful and wise managers God calls them to be. Those believers that didn't know they weren't doing it right will be beaten with few stripes (perhaps literally, during the Millennium, or perhaps through tribulations in this life), but those that did know but misbehaved anyway would be beaten with many stripes.

I notice that Jesus uses the word doulos (slave) in verse 43. Jesus said He would no longer call His disciples slaves (John 15:15), and this is echoed by Paul (Gal 4:7). Perhaps these particular "slaves" are not human disciples but are angelic administrators (perhaps appearing in human form). That would explain how they would receive physical punishment, something I think does not apply to human resurrected believers during the kingdom age.

Yeah, I know. Just guesses.

  • Guessing is a really weak hermeneutic.
    – Caleb
    Jul 1, 2017 at 9:40

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