World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Parable of the Faithful Servant

Article Id: WHEBN0004466889
Reproduction Date:

Title: Parable of the Faithful Servant  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
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
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

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.


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


In Luke, the parable is as follows:


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]


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


  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:
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.