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Parable of the Faithful Servant

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Title: Parable of the Faithful Servant  
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Subject: Parables of Jesus, Parable of the Ten Virgins, Parable of the Great Banquet, Parable of the Wedding Feast, Parable of the Master and Servant
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Parable of the Faithful Servant

Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable, from the Bowyer Bible.

The Parable of the Faithful Servant (or Parable of the Door Keeper) is a parable of Jesus found in three out of the four Canonical gospels in the New Testament. According to Matthew 24:42-51, Mark 13:34-37, and Luke 12:35-48 — often called the Synoptic Gospels — it is important for the faithful to keep watch.

In Matthew, it immediately precedes the Parable of the Ten Virgins, which has a similar eschatological theme: be prepared for the day of reckoning.

Contents

  • Narrative 1
  • Interpretation 2
  • Hymns 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Narrative

In Luke, the parable is as follows:

Interpretation

In Matthew, the parable opens with the injunction: "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" ( 24:42, NIV). In other words, "the disciple must remain prepared for his Lord's coming, remaining alert and awake at his post."[1] Even though there may be general signs of Jesus' Second Coming, the exact time is unknown.[1] This is a theme which has also been discussed earlier in Luke 12.[2] The reference to a wedding banquet in Luke 12:36 suggests a heavenly banquet,[2] and recalls the parable of the Ten Virgins, which follows this parable in Matthew.

The second part of the parable includes a caution that much will be required of the person to whom much is given.[1] J. Dwight Pentecost writes that this parable "emphasizes that privilege brings responsibility and that responsibility entails accountability."[3] This applies particularly to religious leaders.[4]

Jehovah's Witnesses identify the servant, which their translation of the Bible calls the "faithful and discreet slave", with their religion's Governing Body in its role of dispensing spiritual food to followers of Christ.[5]

Hymns

The parable is the theme for several hymns, including Philip Doddridge's "Ye Servants of the Lord," which ends:

Christ shall the banquet spread
With His own royal hand,
And raise that faithful servant’s head
Amid the angelic band.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Eerdmans, 1999, ISBN 0-8028-3821-9, p. 592.
  2. ^ a b Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN 0-8028-2315-7, pp. 497-501.
  3. ^ J. Dwight Pentecost, The Parables of Jesus: Lessons in life from the Master Teacher, Kregel Publications, 1998, ISBN 0-8254-3458-0, p. 175.
  4. ^ Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN 0-8028-2315-7, p. 506.
  5. ^ The Watchtower, July 15, 2013.
  6. ^ .Ye Servants of the LordThe Cyber Hymnal:
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