and The Unfaithful Servant
PART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES
"Who then is the faithful and wiseIntroduction
Immediately after Jesus told the Parable of the Householder
and the Thief, Peter asked him, "Lord are you telling this parable to
us, or to everyone?" Then Jesus answered Peter's question with
another parable, the Parable of the Faithful Servant and the Unfaithful
Servant. The Parable of the Faithful Servant and the Unfaithful Servant
is found in Matthew 24:45-51 and Luke 12:41-46.
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. (Matthew 24:45-51, New
Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling
this parable to us, or to everyone?"
The Lord answered, "Who then is the
faithful and wise manager, whom the
master puts in charge of his servants to
give them their food allowance at the
proper time? It will be good for that
servant whom the master finds doing so
when he returns. I tell you the truth,
he will put him in charge of all his
But suppose the servant says
to himself, `My master is taking a
long time in coming,' and he then begins
to beat the menservants and maidservants
and to eat and drink and get drunk. 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
unbelievers. (Luke 12:41-46, New Inter-
Three main truths are taught in this parable:The Interpretation
1. Faithfulness. Jesus ties faithfulness and wisdom
together. James also ties faithfulness and wisdom
Who is wise and understanding among
you? Let him show it by his good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes
from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter
envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Such "wisdom" does not come down from
heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of
the devil. For where you have envy and
selfish ambition, there you find disorder
and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from
heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive, full of mercy
and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a
harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18,
New International Version).
2. Faithfulness will be rewarded with greater
3. Wickedess will be judged (at an unknown time).
When Jesus answered Peter's question with another
parable, he left the question open. This in itself is an
In effect He said, What I have said applies to
every steward in the household who is faithful and
true, whether in a special sense called to ministry,
or not. (Morgan, PARABLES AND METAPHORS
OF OUR LORD, p. 192).
The unwise steward made two mistakes:
1. He said, "I will do what I like while my master is
2. He said, "I have plenty of time to put things right
before the master returns." (Barclay, DAILY STUDY
BIBLE SERIES, LUKE pp. 170 ff.).
Barclay summarizes the fable of the Three Devils:
There were three devils (demons) sent to earth to finish their
apprenticeship. They had three plans. The first devil's
strategy was to tell people that there was no God. He was
not very successful in capturing souls for hell. The second
devil's strategy was to tell people that there was no hell.
He was not very successful, either. However, the third
devil's strategy was to tell people that God did exist, and
that hell also existed, but THERE WAS PLENTY OF
TIME FOR REPENTANCE. He created a traffic jam on
the road to hell.Barclay concludes, "The most dangerous day in a man's life is
when he learns there is such a word as TOMORROW."
(Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, MATTHEW
pp. 349 ff.).
When I served as an Army Chaplain, a film version of this
story entitled "The Third Devil" had a strong impact on young
soldiers in basic training when I showed it to them. It was
produced by the Order of St. Francis of Assisi.
Central TruthGOD REQUIRES FAITHFULNESS IN CHRISTIANS.Conclusion
Let us be awake and alert and about our Father's business!
If there has been failure, the wise thing is to acknowledge it before
God NOW. Then, let us forget past failures and move on to faithful
service to the Lord. END.