As it waits for the coming of the Son of Man, Matthew’s discipleA disciple is a person who accepts and follows the pronouncements of a teacher. Jesus chose twelve disciples (also called "apostles" in some of the Gospels) to follow him and bear witness to his message Anyone who (like them) follows Jesus is engaged in Christian... More community will be engaged in obedient fulfillment of the master’s work through faithful and caring service.
What does faithful waiting in the meantime look like? In answer to this question, MatthewA tax collector who became one of Jesus' 12 disciples More draws on Q material to paint a picture (see LukeThe "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 12:42-46). Matthew has carefully restructured and focused the parableA parable is a brief story with a setting, an action, and a result. A prominent aspect of Jesus' teaching was telling parables to illustrate something about the kingdom, or reign, of God. More to balance the examples of the faithful and unfaithful servants. Both have been given the charge of caring for the householdA household is a living unit comprised of all the persons who live in one house. A household would embrace all the members of a family, including servants and slaves. In the book of Acts, stories are told of various persons and their households, like... More 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 blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More, 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.