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THE TWO SERVANTS

Matthew 24:45-51

Dr. J. Edward Crenshaw

Pastor, Victory Church, Audubon, Pennsylvania

Watch out! Mr. Stewart’s here!” whispered my coworker Roy with an intensity that was matched by the frantic look on his face. As a teenager I had a job at our local, small-town grocery store, Stewart’s IGA Foodliner. Mr. Stewart was the owner of more than one grocery store, and he was, as I recall, seldom seen at the one where I worked. Occasionally, however, he would show up. And when he did, many of the employees would go into a frenzy. They would be on the verge of panic as they ramped up their pace of work.

Other employees didn’t have to react at all—they didn’t have to panic, didn’t have to change their pace, didn’t have to do anything any differently. No change was necessary whatsoever. Why? Because they were already doing what their jobs required. In other words, they got caught by Mr. Stewart doing what they were supposed to be doing.

Verse 44 is key to understanding this parable: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (NIV). As the store employees didn’t know when the owner might come to visit, neither do we know when Jesus will return. But when he does, we want to get caught doing what we’re supposed to be doing.

The parable makes clear that doing God’s will is not optional for us. The servant who isn’t fulfilling his assignment is assigned a place with the hypocrites. Why with the hypocrites? Because the treatment of our brothers and sisters in Christ displays who we really are. The one who is not a servant of their brothers and sisters in Christ is not a servant of the Lord.

What is it that we want to get caught doing? We want to get caught giving God’s servants in the household food at the proper time. The promised result of getting caught doing what we’re supposed to be doing, when we are supposed to be doing it, is that we will be put in charge of all the master’s possessions. God wants us to experience the fullness of all he has for us! When we show God that we will take what he’s entrusted to us and use it to care for one another as God’s servants, then he can entrust to us even more. When we take the gifts, talents, and resources God provides and use them to serve others, we are giving food at the proper time. When we work together as churches across the region, when we truly love and support each other in our common mission, we are doing something we want to be caught doing.

And we want to remember this: We are not in right relationship with the Lord because of the work we are doing. We are doing his work because we are in right relationship with the Lord. God loves us and we love him, and because of that we want to do what pleases him. God has entrusted us with everything we need to fulfill his amazing purpose for our lives. Faithful servants, let’s get caught doing what God has called us to do.

QUESTIONS

• What does it mean for you to give God’s servants in the household food at the proper time?

• In what way might you be guilty of abusing fellow servants? How can you change?