Q. Thanks so much for your very informative site. I have a question regarding Luke 12: 47-48. Who is being spoken of here ? Do these verses indicate punishment for lazy believers or degrees of punishment for unbelievers ?
A. No specific time is mentioned in Luke 12:35-48 but there are some clues. In Luke 12:36 the Lord told them to be ready for service with their lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet. I believe this is a reference to the 2nd Coming. The other hints seem to confirm this because the owner of the house parable in Luke 12:39-40 is identical to the one in Matt. 24:43-44 and the parable of the wise and faithful manager from Luke 12:42-48 is contained in Matt 24:45-51 as the parable of the wise and faithful servant.
Since both the Matthew references take place just after the 2nd Coming, and speak of the Lord’s servants, I think it’s safe to assume the Luke passage is also meant for surviving Tribulation believers. These being parables, the severe beatings are symbolic of the loss of salvation (Luke 12:46) and the less severe ones symbolize the loss of blessings in the Millennium. Remember Tribulation believers will not enjoy eternal security. That is a blessing granted only to the Church.