The Scriptorium

The Faithful Servant

How do you stack up? Matthew 24.45-51

Matthew 24: Signs of His Coming (6)

Pray Psalm 142.5, 6.
I cried out to You, O LORD:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.

Sing Psalm 142.5, 6.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Hear my cry, Lord, I am low! They are strong who seek my soul.
Jesus frees from every foe; He will keep and make me whole!
Refrain
Lord, You are my Refuge strong!
O receive my plaintive song.

Read Matthew 24.1-51; meditate on verses 45-51.

Prepare.
1. Over what is the faithful servant master?

2. What’s the difference between a faithful servant and an unfaithful servant?

Meditate.
Jesus invites us to consider whether we are “faithful and wise” servants. How can we know?

First, do we accept that God has charged us with ruling over a sector of His “household” (v. 45)? The word for household (Greek, οἰκετεία, oiketeia) is related to the Greek word for “economy”, which is sometimes also translated “household.” God has established a new economy in these latter days, comprised of many households where His servants are called to seek His Kingdom and righteousness, and bring His rule to bear on earth as it is in heaven. Each of us has a “household” over which God has appointed us as servants to further the righteousness, peace, and joy of His rule (Rom. 14.17, 18). This is your Personal Mission Field, and faithfulness as God’s ruler begins in accepting His appointment.

Second, in that household, we are called to serve. Following the example of Jesus, we seek opportunities to bring the grace of the Kingdom to bear on the lives of those to whom He sends us each day (Jn. 20.21). Jesus used the image of preparing and serving food to stand for the ministry of service generally. In our Personal Mission Fields, are we seeking always to serve? Or are we passing up opportunities, or merely hoping others might serve us?

Finally, do we live and serve as if we expect to be held accountable by the Lord upon His return (v. 46)? Faithful and wise servants want every moment the Lord gives them to be invested for His Kingdom and glory (Eph. 5.15-17; 1 Thess. 2.12). They long to hear “Well done” when He returns, and they do their work cheerfully, in expectation of knowing the Lord’s pleasure.

We are not faithful and wise servants if we ignore our charge, squander opportunities, waste time, or care only about our own interests and needs. We may claim to be servants of the living God, but, as Jesus earlier said, “By their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7.19, 20).

We don’t know when Jesus will return; but we can be sure that He will. Pray and work that He may see you as a faithful and wise servant, preparing diligently to enter into His eternal Presence and pleasure.

Reflect.
1. How would you define the “household” over which our Lord has made you ruler?

2. What does serving the people of your “household” require of you?

3. What can you do to make better use of your time in serving your “household”?

One is faithful who has been a good steward of his Lord’s goods, not stealing from the Lord, not spending without aim or fruit. One is wise who knows how to dispense the things given him in a fitting way. Indeed, we have need of both these things together, faithfulness and wisdom, and these in conjunction. We are called to exercise our stewardship in a fitting manner, spending carefully.
John Chrysostom (34-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 77.3

Today, Lord, I go forth to serve in Your Name, so that…

Pray Psalm 142.1-4, 7.
Commit your day to the Lord, to serve the people to whom He sends you, and to praise and thank Him for your calling.

Sing Psalm 142.1-4, 7.
Psalm 142.1-4, 7 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
With my voice, O Lord, I cry – hear my plea for mercy, Lord!
My complaint mounts up on high, bringing You my troubled word:
Refrain vv. 5, 6
            Lord, You are my Refuge strong!
            O receive my plaintive song!

When my spirit faints away, You my falt’ring pathway know.
Where I take my journey they traps have hidden to my woe.
Refrain

Lord, look to my right and see: None takes notice of my plight.
Is there refuge left for me? Is my soul out of Your sight?
Refrain

Out of prison lead me, Lord; thanks and praise to You shall be.
Righteous men armed with Your Word Will Your grace bestow on me.
Refrain

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore