Focus Passage: Matthew 24:45-51
I hate waiting for a plane or for someone to call. It feels like wasted time. I know people who think that church is wasted time as well. They would rather just join a church when they are ready to die. The bible tells us what to do during that time of waiting.
When the Bible talks about the last days, people think about crazy people who put on white robes and sit on top of a mountain waiting for the last day. Jesus, however, talks about the last days as a time of activity caring for one another and doing the work that he has given us. The church is not just about feeling good or having fun together. The real test of a church should be whether it helps people know God better and help them to serve in ministry well. The church is the place where we confess our sin and see our savior. The church is the place where we grow so that we are ready for whatever comes in the days ahead. The most important thing to do while we wait for the last day is to be in God’s word.
Some will lose hope that Jesus will ever return v.48 The last days will be a time of deceit when many are fooled by the glamor and glitter of the age. The servant in the text doesn’t believe that the master will return. He has become so confused that he stops feeding and caring for the servants around him. Without a steady diet of God’s word, people are easily led astray by the world. Without the word, they will slowly drift from the Lord and will lose their connection with the Lord.
Some begin to act like the world and will be punished v.49 The servant starts to change. What had been a faithful servant now starts to have a moral breakdown and becomes just as wicked as the world around him. The ideas of the world are not working. The servant begins to use force to control them as the world tells him to do. When a church becomes lax in their Bible study, they often become places filled with quarreling and moral breakdowns. They become just like the world around them.
The faithful are healthy and hopeful v.45a The wise servant knows that feeding himself and others is not an option. He will be different than the world around him having gained wisdom from his time with the Lord. He will be faithful. He will continue to take time for being fed even in busy schedules because he knows that he will not survive without the food that the master has left for him. He will not be led astray by the false claims, but will stay close to what the master has given.
The faithful feed others with God’s Word v.45b Notice that the servant feeds the others with the master’s food. Workers are not expected to go and find or purchase the food. The church is to feed people with the food left by the master in his Bible. They are not to feed people the wisdom of the day or the latest polls. They want to feed people with a wisdom that lasts. They want to feed people based on the forgiveness of the cross of Jesus Christ. They want to feed people so that their lives change and work.
The servant in the text will be rewarded by the master for he has cared for and fed others instead of giving into the world around him. He will be rewarded by giving him further privileges and will be elevated in the household because of his wisdom and faithfulness. The person who continues in the word will find that it will have great rewards as well. They will gain a closer relationship with the Lord. No longer will God be someone far off, but will be someone that you know and who you can rely on to help you in every situation. You will also have a real purpose to life and will have a life that will accomplish great things. You will not look back in your last days and wonder what could have been. You will look at your children and the way that you lived your life and see all the people that the Lord let you impact. As you learn from the Lord and put it into practice, your life will be different.