Matthew 24:45-51 – The Faithful and the Unfaithful Servant

BIBLE TEXT

Matthew 24:45-51

SUMMARY

As it waits for the coming of the Son of Man, Matthew’s disciple community will be engaged in obedient fulfillment of the master’s work through faithful and caring service.

ANALYSIS

What does faithful waiting in the meantime look like? In answer to this question, Matthew draws on Q material to paint a picture (see Luke 12:42-46). Matthew has carefully restructured and focused the parable to balance the examples of the faithful and unfaithful servants. Both have been given the charge of caring for the household and the other servants while the master is away. The faithful servant is blessed (here the word blessed occurs for the last time in Matthew), because he is found at work doing the assigned tasks when the master arrives, whenever that might be. The unfaithful servant instead uses the time of the master’s delay as an opportunity to beat his fellow servants and to party and get drunk. The allegorical application of this parable to the life of Matthew’s community is transparent. Faithful and obedient discipleship, discipleship that reveals the presence of God’s blessing, is to be actively involved in caring for God’s world and for God’s children in the meantime of waiting for the return of the Son of Man.

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