Luke 12:41

ESV Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?”
NIV Peter asked, 'Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?'
NASB Peter said, 'Lord, are You telling this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?'
CSB "Lord," Peter asked, "are you telling this parable to us or to everyone? "
NLT Peter asked, 'Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?'
KJV Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

What does Luke 12:41 mean?

In the "travelogue" Luke records (Luke 9:51—19:28), Jesus trains the disciples how to build the church. That doesn't mean they're always alone. Currently, Jesus and the disciples are surrounded by thousands of people. At least one has already interrupted Jesus' teaching (Luke 12:1, 13).

Jesus has given two different parables exhorting His followers to keep ready for the arrival of the kingdom of God. Jesus inaugurated the kingdom with His birth; He will fulfill it with the second coming. Jesus compares His followers to servants of a master who has gone to a wedding without telling the servants when he will return. Like these servants, Jesus-followers need to keep watch, tending to their duties, so they are prepared when Jesus returns (Luke 12:35–40).

Scholars debate as to the identities of "all" and "us." Is "all" the entire gathered crowd (Luke 12:1)? Is "all" the seventy-two disciples (Luke 10:1)? Is "us" just the Twelve? Is "all" the entirety of humanity and "us" Jesus-followers? The text seems to indicate a difference between the servants of Luke 12:35–40 and 12:41–48. That would make "all" every Jesus-follower and "us" the disciples—later to include anyone in church leadership.

In reply, Jesus tells a similar parable, this time focusing on the higher-ranking servants who have more responsibility. Peter wants a differentiation; Jesus' closest followers should receive more honor. Jesus gives three characteristics of servant leaders: they are responsible for the well-being of the other servants (Luke 12:42–44), they must not shirk their responsibilities or abuse the other servants (Luke 12:45–46), and they will be held to a higher standard than the other servants because they know what is expected of them (Luke 12:47–48).

Jesus' words here are like God's warning to faithless Jewish leaders who abuse the people in Ezekiel 34.
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