The Parable of the Unfaithful Servant Matthew 24: 45-51 (also Luke 12:35-48)
Jesus said, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly, I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign Him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Starting the commentary with the end of the story, we hear about the wicked servant. His Master is delayed, so he is not doing what is expected of him. In fact, he is not only lazy, he is wicked. Beating the servants is about mistreatment of one another. Carousing with drunkards, beyond not being sober, is about living a lifestyle that is not fitting a servant of the King.
When the Master comes back, He finds the servant unprepared. The Master punishes that servant in terrible ways, and puts him among the hypocrites, for he pretended to be a faithful servant.
On the other hand, the faithful servant will be found to be doing what is expected, taking good care of the other servants in the household. The simplest acts of feeding the others and taking care of their basic needs are the actions of a faithful servant. The Master does not ask much of us.
Praying with the Word: Dear Jesus, our Master, help us to understand this parable of Your servants. Open our eyes to the ways in which we have been the lazy or unfaithful servants who are not ready for Your return. Help us to see the times that we have done this, and to repent. Most of all, Lord Jesus, help us to understand how to be faithful servants to You and to be diligent in preparing for Your return. Help us to take good care of our fellow servants as we await your glorious return. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
1. Think of yourself as a servant of the King, one who has chosen to follow the Lord. In what ways can you better care for your fellow servants?
2. The unfaithful servant spends time in places that are unsafe or unfit for spiritual health. What does this mean to you?
3. What kinds of things do you want to do as a faithful servant of the King? How can you please Him by doing His will?