to whom much is given, much is required

the more talents, possessions, opportunities, etc., a person has, the more responsibility she has to use them for the good of others
—I told my son that he could not ignore his talent as a pianist. He has a responsibility to play for other’s enjoyment. I believe that to whom much is given, much is required.

Jesus wanted his followers to be ready for the time when he would come back as king of heaven and earth, so he told them they should be like servants who are obedient even when their master is away. Jesus described two servants who were disobedient and were not ready when the master returned: Both did wrong, but because the first one knew what the master wanted, he was beaten severely. The second, though, didn’t know the master’s will, and while he was also punished, his beating was less severe. Jesus said,

From everyone who has been given much, much will be required [unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required—KJV], and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)

There are many variations of the first half of this verse used in modern English. Probably the most famous usage is from John F. Kennedy, who, in 1961, said, “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” While the form “to whom much is given, much is required” may sound right and is commonly used, leaving out of those actually makes the phrase grammatically incorrect.

Next Post
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Coming or Going during Turbulent Times [—at A Life Overseas]

    In October of 2001, my wife and I boarded a flight and moved our family from the US to our new home in Asia. Nearly ten years later, in June of 2011, we moved back to our old home in Joplin, Missouri. Those dates may not jump out at you, but the first was one […]

    Langston Hughes: Harlem Ambassador, Dreamer, Joplin Son

    Every day on my way to work, I drive through the East Town neighborhood of Joplin, Missouri, down a street with the dual name Langston Hughes Avenue and Broadway Street. Part of the old Route 66, it used to be called simply Broadway, but in 1976, the city renamed a portion of it as a […]