Daily Bread #22
Who is a wise and faithful servant?
One of the great truths about the Bible in its totality is this: “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” With that being said, we understand that the OT was calling out to the world that the Messiah was coming, and then the NT testify to the fact that He has come. Though the world was not ready for the Messiah when He came to it, this one thing we are all certain of, He was ready for the world to which He came. He came here to fix the world’s malady, sin. And He did it in such a way that it benefited all of humanity (1John 3:5). It was not a requirement that the world had to be on watchfulness when Jesus came to it the first time. The great desire in God was for the world to appropriate the gift of salvation that was being offered to it.
The New Testament is warning all of humanity that the Christ is coming again, and this time everyone is put on notice by being called to a life of watchfulness/readiness. In Matthew 24:45-46 our Lord uses the metaphor of the servant master relationship to establish the duties and responsibilities on the part of the servants, and to remind them that wise and faithful servants will be reward for their unfailing commitment to the work that was assigned to them. But not all servants will remain true to the task assigned to them. Some will choose not to serve but nevertheless expect to be rewarded on pay day. Others will be so careless that they will stop serving and never see the need to remain faithful to what they are called to do. And there is yet a third group that will deceive itself into believing that it has all the time in the world to give in to the desires of the flesh because the Lord of the house is not coming.
But in our lesson on the “Blessedness of watchfulness,” Jesus asks a poignant question: “Who is the faithful and wise servant…?” He is that servant who understands he has a choice and chooses to live a life of servitude knowing that one day he must give an account for the life he lived on this side of eternity. He is not carless to draw his hand back from the plough knowing that such a person is not worthy of his Master’s consideration. Neither will he be deceived into believing that he has all the time in the world to live according to the desires of the flesh because he understands that God can cause him to believe that lie from which he will never be able to turn. “Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (see 2Thes. 2:10-12). The faithful and wise servant is one who lives for the day given to him. He understands that he is here today but can be gone by tomorrow. He lives in view that he might go to out of this world to stand before the Christ before He comes a second time.
- I recall those days in college taking final exams when the professor would shout from his lectern, “time is up,” and each student understands it is at that moment he should put down his pen and pencil – stop writing – and turned in his work. Many of us try to squeeze in a twenty or thirty second grace period despite the call to stop writing.
- Time has long expired for life here on earth as we know it. Wickedness, deceitful living and disobedience are already judged, and the God of heaven is saying “time is up.”
- The world has not heard the call that time is up; it is on borrowed time and doesn’t even know it.
- But for some unknown reason, like a professor standing at his lectern, God decides to give us a grace period.
- The faithful and wise servants are ready put down their writing instruments – they are ready to turn in their life’s work and be graded for it.
The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.