Faithful And Wise Servants
“Who then is a faithful and wise bondservant whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is that bondservant whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all his goods.”
The faithful and wise servant understands the responsibility of his relationship to the master’s household. So it is with those disciples who remain faithful and thus wisely understand their duties to serve the Lord. They will not be diverted to the cares of this world, nor drawn away by the politics of the nationalistic Israelites. Their citizenship in heaven will be stronger than their connection to the physical “seed of Abraham.” Therefore, they took heed and watched for the coming judgment of the master of the household. They are always prepared for his coming in order that they not be caught unprepared.
The Evil Servant
“But if that evil bondservant will say in his heart, ‘My master delays,’ and begins to beat his fellow bondservants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that bondservant will come in a day when he is not looking for him and in an hour that he does not know. And he will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The evil servant will not be spiritually awakened by the imminent coming of the Lord in his lifetime. He puts this thought out of his mind and carries on with the ordinary things of life. In Jesus’ personal conversation here with His disciples, He was emphasizing the fact that this coming of the Lord would happen “in this generation.” He had said, “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation” (Mt 23:36). “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Mt 16:28).
Jesus was not leading them to believe that the final coming and end of the world would be in their lifetime. The final coming of Jesus was not something about which they thought at the time.
The New Testament does not teach the imminent final return of Jesus. That is, the Holy Spirit did not inspire New Testament writers to write that the final coming of Jesus would happen in the lifetime of the first century disciples. However, Jesus and the inspired writers did teach and write about the imminent coming of Jesus in time in judgment upon Jerusalem. It was this return for which Christians in those times were to be looking. This was the return about which James wrote, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord…. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Js 5:7,8). Therefore, Jesus urged His immediate disciples to look for this coming. Those who did not heed the warnings of Matthew 24 would inevitably be deceived by the theology of the nationalistic recruiters, and consequently suffer in weeping and gnashing of teeth in the destruction of their prized city Jerusalem, the temple and nation.
[End of series]