The Faithful and the Evil

Matthew 24:47-51. “Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if the evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken: The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The faithful servant who ran the household well would be rewarded when his lord returned, because he had been watchful. He had been prepared, and was not caught short when his lord suddenly and unexpectedly returned.

If, however, there were an evil servant who was lazy, deceitful, and disrespectful in his ways, he too would gain his own reward.  He is described as abusing his own fellowservants, obviously forgetting that he himself was only a servant, too.  I believe this is an important warning to any who are in leadership positions in the church today, that they not become careless of the fact that they are to minister to the household of the saints and not to lord it over them.

This evil servant’s behavior descends even more when he begins to drink with the already drunken. One can imagine the household in disarray when the lord, the owner of the household, suddenly and unexpectedly appears at the gate. The evil servant became careless and believed there was plenty of time for him to put things in order for the coming of the lord, yet he was caught in the midst of his sin and had no time to set things right.

His reward? He was literally cut into pieces. This was a horrendous punishment, recorded in many places in history. The words cut asunder mean exactly what they say.  They do not refer to the servant being separated from the household or the other servants. They mean he was executed by being cut in two. He was appointed to his place in hell with other hypocrites, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“But that’s horrible!”  some people would say.   “Isn’t God a God of love, mercy, and grace?”

Indeed He is.  He is also, and this is the part we too often forget, a God of holiness and judgment. The evil servant chose to overlook the righteous judgment of his lord, believing he would have time to clean up the mess.

He was wrong.

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