The afternoon sun shone brightly on the dusty white stones of the wall surrounding his manor, as the master headed out of the gate. Turning for one last word of instruction to His servant, the master said, “I’ll only be gone for a little bit, and I will be coming back. Take care of my house until I return.” With that, he turned and headed up the road, disappearing a few minutes later as the road wound around a distant hill.
“When will he return?” the servant standing at the gate wondered as he looked at the hazy dust cloud that was settling where his master had just been. Heading back into the house, he grabbed the broom from the corner of the porch and went to begin the day’s chores. There was plenty of washing, dusting, sweeping, watering, and general maintaining that would need to take place today, and this servant would not miss the opportunity to please his master upon his return.
Two years later, the servants still hustled and bustled with their daily chores, by this point a few had quit and moved away, but the servants who had truly heard the master’s voice continued on, trusting the words that they had heard, “I will be coming back.” They were not dissuaded from the truth that their master would return, and this truth motivated them to rise daily and labor in his manor, knowing that at any moment, a dust cloud marking his return could appear on the horizon. So, daily, they labored, knowing that any moment their master would return. These were the servants that loved their master enough to obey Him. These were the same servants that feared the negative consequences of disobeying their master. They were the servants who believed the words of their master. These were his choice servants.
Hours before Jesus would be taken away, Jesus told this parable to His disciples. The implications would become obvious upon His departure. The faithful servants who both loved their Master and feared the consequences of disobedience, the choice servants, would remain faithful until the day they were reunited with their Master. This endurance would be normative for a true servant of Jesus, not exceptional. Whether or not a servant would fall away would have massive ramifications for that servant when the Master returned.
The call of Jesus is a call to endurance and longevity. He desires that His followers remain faithful through the years. He desires that they be ever watchful for His return so that when He does return they will not be ashamed for their lack of service, but instead, that they will be there to celebrate with their Master. The immediate days ahead are not filled with the promise of comfort or ease. But the day of reunion is coming. Rest will be had, but for now, during this season we must be obeying and watching.
Food For Thought: Read Matthew 25:23. What phrase does the master in this parable say to his servant regarding his faithfulness and endurance?