45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
50 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,
51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Greek word here translated household is only once again used [in Scripture]. In Revelation we read that “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” What relation can there be between healing and household? This question can only be answered by an understanding of what this word household really signifies. It is the word form which we derive our word therapeutic, and the basic idea of it is healing. The word household refers to all such in the house as serve.
That first word, “Who then is the faithful and wise servant?” is the word bond-slave; but the word household comes from another term for servant, which is other than the word bond-slave. It is a word that signifies a loving service, a purpose of healing in service. This is a case of metonymy, where one word is put for another, which the other suggests, as when we say a man keeps a good table, when we refer really to his food. This word in the parable, then, suggests the picture of a great house, and one Lord; and all of those in the house under his control, as thinking of his interests, while serving under his command.
His attitude is simply that of bringing forth meat in the due season, and feeding the rest; the attitude of caring for all the other members of the household during the Lord’s absence, for the sake of the absent lord. — Morgan, page 288.
The commentaries don’t know what to do with this passage. Some try to apply it as a general truth for every age. Others say the Lord suddenly stopped talking about the Tribulation and His second coming and started talking about the current age.
While there is obvious universal truth here about serving faithfully, it is impossible for me to believe that the Lord suddenly shifted His topic from His second coming to a separate period that hadn’t yet been revealed and that His listeners could not possibly have understood. Since the kingdom He came to offer wasn’t actually offered until after His resurrection and ascension, it makes no sense that He would be speaking as though it had already been set aside.
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