By Chuck Griffin
Jesus Discusses the Need To Stay Ready
“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Just in case you’re missing the meaning—we are the servants. In a culture where we have a tendency to exalt ourselves, we can fail to recognize this all-important starting point.
We have hit a place in the cycle of Bible readings where we’re getting daily reminders that our situation is temporary. Christians believe Jesus Christ will return one day to set the world right, restoring holiness and driving away evil. This servant metaphor is embedded in a long section of Matthew where Jesus talks in very apocalyptic tones.
Servants have responsibilities; we are to understand ourselves as being in charge of each other’s well-being. Remember Philippians 2:4? “Look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
In a lot of ways, a narcissist—a psychopathically self-centered person—is the behavioral opposite of the perfect Christian. Most of us fall on a scale somewhere in between these two extremes, and we of course want to be “going on toward perfection,” to use an 18th-century Methodist term.
How will we be found? Caring for others, or obsessively taking care of our own needs and wants?
These are good questions to ask ourselves as we arise each morning. They could very well shape what we do each day!
Lord, help us to look out for those opportunities to support our fellow servants. As we care for each other, we know your household will grow stronger day by day, until the day we see you in full. Amen.