The Seriousness of Serving
Being a passionate servant of Jesus Christ is not an insignificant issue. The more I read His Words, I realize its not only significant, it’s non-negotiable. Living the life that Jesus came and sacrificed for us to have includes putting our hand in the abundant harvest and serving people.
At the end of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is talking directly to His disciples. He’s talking to those whom He loves, and whom He wants to see be effective in their life and then be rewarded in Heaven. He’s not scolding them, He’s bringing some correction and conviction and asking them to make some choices. He’s talking to us as well and we need to make similar choices.
In Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25, we read Jesus’ parting words. You can’t help but notice that He is saving some of His most sober statements about serving for the very end of His ministry. He tells four parables, back-to-back that drive the point home. He’s getting ready to go into heaven and He is leaving us with His final words of this issue of serving.
The first parable is found in Matthew 24:44-51. It contrasts the wise and evil servant.
The wise [sometimes rendered faithful] servant has a hopeful expectation of the return of His Master, Jesus Christ. Hopeful expectation leads him to a righteous life where he is doing the will of God.
The wise servant is a rewarded. Jesus said, “I’m going to make you ruler over all of My goods.”
He’s also a doer. He’s a worker He is a servant of all that his Lord commands him to do.
Jesus gives us a picture of what a faithful and wise servant looks like. He is hopefully expectant, he is highly rewarded, he is a passionate worker, and he is an obedient servant.
What about the evil servant? Unlike the faithful servant, he is totally un-expectant. He has absolutely no clue about the return of Jesus. In his mind, his master is delayed. This gives him an attitude that says, “People have been talking about the return of Jesus for 2,000 years. He’s not coming back. And because I’m un-expectant I’m not going to live righteously; I’m going to live sinfully.”
Because of his attitude, he begins to beat and abuse his other servants. He doesn’t expect Jesus to come; therefore he lives this abusive life. He also enjoys gluttonous, carnal living where he’s eating, drinking and binging with the drunkards. He’s all about now; he’s all about his flesh.
He is judged. This isn’t light language at all; Jesus said that the evil servant is going to get cut in two and he enters into this place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. This guy is experiencing regret for all of eternity.
Both of these men are called servants. One is wise and the other is foolish.
The question for us is what kind of servant are we?