Faithful and Unfaithful Servants
45Who are faithful and wise servants? Who are the ones the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their food supplies at the proper time? 46Servants are fortunate if their master comes and finds them doing their job. 47You may be sure a servant who is always faithful will be put in charge of everything the master owns. 48But suppose one of the servants thinks the master won't return until late. 49Suppose this evil servant starts beating the other servants and eats and drinks with people who are drunk. 50If that happens, the master will surely come on a day and at a time when the servant least expects him. 51This servant will then be punished and thrown out with the ones who only pretended to serve their master. There they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
The proverb “when the cat’s away, the mice will play” is not a Biblical proverb, but it is still true. The point is that human nature being what it is, when there is no fear of getting caught, people tend to take advantage of the situation for their own pleasure and gain.
Jesus understood this principle, and speaks to it in a parable he tells about being prepared for his return. He tells the story of two servants who have both been put in charge of other servants when the master goes away. The wise servant is found to be looking after things well when the master returns. The foolish servant beats and starves the other servants while he selfishly gorges on the food meant for all.
The end of the story is good news for the wise servant and horrible news for the foolish one. His end is all about weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The point is this. Jesus is going to return. 2000 years may seem like an eternity to us, but to God it is no time at all. We are called to be like the wise servant, caring for those whom God has put into our lives to love in his name. Our relationship with Jesus is designed to be a blessing to many, not just ourselves.
The New Testament is filled with the principles of the Kingdom of God. But they are wrapped up in two commandments – to love God with our whole being and to love others as we love ourselves. Wise servants of Jesus Christ live by these principles. There is no principle in Kingdom living that looks anything like “when the cats away the mice will play.” Jesus makes it clear that until he returns, we are to live lives that honour him by serving others well in his name.
How much better will it be to hear the Master say, “well done, good and faithful servant” than anything to do with weeping and gnashing of teeth. By his grace, we can serve him and others faithfully until he comes.
Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me and calling me into your family. You have called me to serve you and others. Help me to do so faithfully and lovingly, as you would serve others if you were still here in the flesh. Help me to faithfully administer your grace to others until you come. In your name I pray. Amen