Two types of servants


“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.  Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.  But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and 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 is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mathew 24: 45-51.)


A sizable Middle Eastern home in the first century had one master (usually the father or patriarch), and many servants who strictly adhered to the commandments and directions of their master.  Often, when the master went on a journey, he placed his most trusted servant in charge of the household.  This parable utilizes a common cultural illustration to describe a heavenly truth.  In the parable, the master represents Jesus, who would shortly ascend in to heaven with the promise of his eventual ‘second coming.’  He left the apostles and all future believers (servants) with his power and authority, and a mandate to serve others, to love others, and to always be prepared for his immediate return.  Jesus describes two types of servants (the faithful and the wicked.)  The Faithful servants are those who follow orders, and who in love, provide for the needs of those they serve; the reward for their service is eternal life.  The wicked servants are those who start out in faith, serving others in obedience to Christ; but who lose heart over his delayed return and begin to mistreat those they are given.  The wicked servants walk away from serving and begin to serve themselves and their own sinful desires.  The reward for their disobedience is eternal death in hell, where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Before I knew the Lord, I had very little respect for anyone, or anything.  One night, after getting drunk with friends and acquaintances, we began to smash everything in my apartment.  We smashed beer bottles, plates, a window, (a car windshield got broken as well, I believe) and the toilet overflowed and caused damage to a lower apartment; the mess was overwhelming (someone had even written something disgusting on my mirror with shaving crème.)  My Dad had been paying for the apartment which was rented through some family friends; he would come through periodically to inspect the apartment.  That night I had passed out, thinking I could clean the mess up in the morning.  Much to my surprise, I woke up to my Dad standing over me, yelling my name.  I jumped up in distress and in shock; there was glass everywhere; I began to frantically clean up the mess.  My Dad had rented the apartment for me and placed it in my hands to respect and take care of; but I abused it.  I thought I would have time to make everything look nice before he could see anything.  I was wrong; he showed up at a time when I didn’t expect him, and in an hour when I wasn’t prepared.  He saw that I was unworthy; in his absence I used my freedom to abuse what he had given me.

Jesus Christ has been gone for nearly 2000 years; and for nearly 2000 years he has appointed servants to represent him in his absence.  The good servants are those who have respected what God has given them; they have kept the spirit of the unexpected return of their master.  A good servant follows commands.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you have been given commandments and responsibilities that require your attention.  Your life is no longer your own, but you play the role of Jesus Christ in this place and in the lives of all those you know.  He loved, he sacrificed, he prayed, he taught, he inspired hope, he healed the broken hearted, he brought light in to dark places, he spoke the truth, he forgave sins, and above all he served others.  How does your life resemble his life?  Are you serving Jesus Christ today, or are you serving yourself?  Are you taking care of what he has given you, or are you abusing it?  Be a good servant; always be ready for the return of your king, and may he find you serving him in a manner worthy of an eternal reward (the reward is well worth the effort.)

“Lord Heavenly Father we come before You and we honor You.  We ask that You make us obedient servants, and give us a heart to serve others, and to continue on in Your work.  Help us to let go of our own lives, and live them in submission to You.  We so desperately want to be the good servants that are continually ready for Your return.  Please mold us and shape us in to the image of Your Son.  Give us opportunities to reveal Your love to others.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.


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