Faithful and Unfaithful Servants
35 Be ready and keep your lamps burning 36 just like those servants who wait up for their master to return from a wedding feast. As soon as he comes and knocks, they open the door for him. 37Servants are fortunate if their master finds them awake and ready when he comes! I promise you he will get ready and let his servants sit down so he can serve them. 38Those servants are really fortunate if their master finds them ready, even though he comes late at night or early in the morning. 39 You would surely not let a thief break into your home, if you knew when the thief was coming. 40So always be ready! You don't know when the Son of Man will come.
41Peter asked Jesus, “Did you say this just for us or for everyone?”
42The Lord answered:
Who 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? 43Servants are fortunate if their master comes and finds them doing their job. 44A servant who is always faithful will surely be put in charge of everything the master owns.
45But suppose one of the servants thinks that the master won't return until late. Suppose that servant starts beating all the other servants and eats and drinks and gets drunk. 46If that happens, the master will come on a day and at a time when the servant least expects him. That servant will then be punished and thrown out with the servants who cannot be trusted.
47If servants are not ready or willing to do what their master wants them to do, they will be beaten hard. 48But servants who don't know what their master wants them to do will not be beaten so hard for doing wrong. If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better.
If this life is the final offer, then my quest should be to experience it all and not hold back. I should take from others anything I find useful, and taste all that tempts my palate. If this world is a house where there is no master, no one can stop me from laying claim to the position.
Sadly not a single one of us has the grace required of a true master. When we take on the role we are more likely to mistreat others, be reckless with the land and slide into gluttony of all sorts. Jesus reminds us of our role as trusted tenants, and calls us to diligence.
To wait for the Master’s return means to feel a sense of his presence even in his absence. It challenges us to long for a future time and not miss a single opportunity to do good in the present time. Because we work in the name of another, we keep his light shining in a dark neighbourhood and feed the hungry in his household. We fight back the thief who would destroy the peace of his home.
If we are tempted to think that there is little to show for the Christian life, Jesus surprises us with a great truth. To those the Good Master finds faithful he says, ‘I promise you that he will get ready and have his servants sit down so he can serve them.’ In a great role reversal, the one who serves will be served by the powerful hand of the returning Lord.
We have been given a taste of this mercy already. Wrapped in a servant’s towel Christ asks us to receive the broken bread, his body, as a sign that we place our hope in his coming kingdom.
Loving Master, you have not abandoned us and will return to take up your rightful place in this world. Keep us faithful as we wait. Remind us to serve as your Son so graciously served us, giving us the power of his name in which to pray. Amen.