Matthew 24:45 (Stewards and Servants)

In summary to everything that Jesus has taught about His coming in judgment upon His enemies to establish His kingdom of righteousness He has warned His disciples to be on the alert.  For although His coming following the signs He has given is as certain as summer following the signs of spring, the exact day or hour is unknown.  What is known though is that it will be at a time they do not expect.  Therefore they must keep watch lest His coming surprise them like a thief.  On the other hand, to those whom He finds on the alert when He comes He has promised the blessing that He Himself will serve and wait on them; see Luk 12:35-40.  This is the two-fold nature of His coming that also reflects the nature of the living and eternal word of God as it comes to every soul and sifts every heart like a winnowing fork at the time of harvest; cf. Mat 3:12.

What question does Peter now ask in regard to the unexpectedness of Jesus’ coming?  See Luk 12:41.  What was Jesus’ answer to His question?  See Luk 12:42-46, Mat 24:45-51.  In light of Peter’s question, who should we understand the master in the parable to represent, and who does the faithful and sensible slave or steward represent whom the master put in charge of his household?  Cf. Tit 1:7.  Who do the servants of the master’s household represent?  See Gal 4:2 (NAS managers = KJV governors = literally stewards, as in Luk 12:42) and cf. 1Co 3:1, Eph 4:11-13.  What does the food represent that the faithful steward gives the master’s servants at the proper time?  See Heb 5:12-14, and notice that rations in Luk 12:42 is literally a measured portion of wheat or grain that is used to make bread, which typifies the word of God; cf. Mat 4:4.  What is the significance of a measured portion of truth that God’s overseers give those of His household who are growing up in the faith, and those portions being given to them at the proper time?  As God’s revelation has unfolded to mankind over thousands of years, should we expect that it can quickly or easily be imparted to those who are just coming to a knowledge of the truth?  How long did it take Christ Himself, the greatest teacher of all time, to impart the truths of the gospel to His disciples?  Did they even come to fully comprehend those truths during Christ’s time on the earth?  Did even the early Church fully comprehend all the implications of the gospel that have come to light over the past 2000 years?  Shall we then expect that those who are still maturing in their faith will be able to immediately and fully comprehend truths that have taken mankind’s wisest and holiest men ages to understand, into which even angels long to look (1Pe 1:12)?  Do children or even young adults immediately and fully comprehend mathematical truths that have likewise unfolded over thousands of years and that take years of formal education to impart?  Cf. 2Pe 3:15-16.  What does this remind us about salvation being much more than the singular event of a person putting their faith in Jesus Christ, and that being born again is only the beginning of an entire life in Christ?

What is the significance that the passage in Luk 12:42 parallel to Mat 24:45 refers to the master’s household as servants ?  Notice that the word there actually refers not to a servant, but to a service performed for the benefit of another, such as by household servants for the master of a house, or by a caregiver to one who is sick, or even a service of worship done to the gods.  Its use here is an example of metonymy where something is not called by its own name, but by something closely related to it, such as referring to a monarchy as the crown, the U.S. presidency as the White House, or to the auto industry as Detroit.  What does Jesus’ use of service as a metonym for those who belong to His household remind us about the role to which they are called?  Is this any different from that to which God called those out of Egypt?  See Exo 7:16, 8:1,20, 9:1,13, 10:3 and cf. 1Co 6:19-20.  Consider too the role of His own Son; see Mat 20:28 and cf. Mat 20:25-27, 1Co 9:19, Gal 5:13.

What is the significance that the service that Jesus uses as a metonym for those who belong to His household also has the connotation of healing, and is actually the Greek word qerapei,a from which we get our word therapy?  Think: in what way is service to others a therapy not only to those who are served but to those who serve them?  Is this not the heart of the gospel Jesus brought that establishes the kingdom of God?  See also Rev 22:2 where the same word is translated healing and think: in what way are the attendants of Christ’s household who have learned from His example to serve others a tree of life, planted beside a river that flows with the water of life, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations?  What does this remind us about where true healing is found?  Cf. Psa 107:17-20, Exo 15:26.  What does it remind us about the importance of the love, order and discipline of the true household of God that must also be a part of our own households if we are to have spiritually and physically healthy families that compose a healthy, vibrant church that is a therapeutic balm to a sick world?  Cf. 1Ti 3:4-5.  How important is it then for husbands, wives, and children to give heed to the word God has sent for our healing and fulfill the roles to which God calls them?  Can the household of God be a healing balm to the nations if the households that compose it resist His word and follow after the world?  What are those roles to which God calls the members of a household?  See Eph 5:21-6:4, Col 3:18-21, Tit 2:1-6.

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