A Faithful and Wise Servant
January 20, 2022
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:45-51).
Almost everyone is familiar with Mr. Carson of Downton Abbey fame. He was the butler and in charge of the entire household for Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham. Mr. Carson was responsible for the servant staff and therefore made sure each servant did his/her job. If they did, they could continue in their position. If they didn’t, they were released to find another employer. This was a major part of his responsibility, for he himself was a servant of Lord Grantham.
In our text, Jesus gives another analogy reinforcing His point that Christians are to stay alert, stay awake, and keep watching for His return. We are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Each Christian has a service to perform for the Lord in His Kingdom on earth - the church. We are not without resources: (1) He has given us the Holy Spirit, (2) we have the Scriptures, (3) we are a member of the fellowship of believers, (4) He has given us spiritual leaders who are responsible for training us in ministry, (5) we have been given spiritual gifts designed especially for us to use in that service. Because we do not know the day or hour when the Lord will return, we are to keep serving the Lord in His Kingdom until He does return, much like the servants of Downton Abbey did when Lord and Lady Grantham were away from the estate.
The Christian who is found faithful in serving the Lord in His absence will be rewarded with greater responsibility in service - a promotion if you will. That greater service is not only granted in this life, but also in the Millennial Kingdom and in the New Earth yet to come (see Matthew 25:14-30). The key here is to accept the ministry of service the Lord has blessed us with and to do it faithfully and to the best of our ability. It is not to our glory that we do so, but to His glory.
This is reflected again in the Downton Abbey series. Mr. Bates was content to be Lord Grantham's Valet and did his job well. On the other hand Mr. Barrow was always trying to find a way, dishonestly and unethically, to become the Valet and was despised by everyone.
Every Christian is called by the Lord, gifted by the Lord, and equipped by the Lord to serve the Lord faithfully. We need to be as the Apostle Paul who said, I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content (Philippians 4:11). Amen.