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Last Daze

The Faithful and Sensible Slave

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On 12/6/2018 at 1:23 AM, Last Daze said:
  • The faithful and sensible slave.  Is it one person?  A certain group of people?  Can any believer qualify?
  • What is the food that is given to those of the master's household?
  • What is the proper time?

My 2¢ on this. Matt. 24:45 comes as a question whose answer should be inferred from what comes earlier. In other words, we should be able to determine who the faithful and sensible slave (NASB; wise servant, KJV) is, based on the preceding parable(s). The faithful slave is a slave put in charge over his master's household. Both the household and the faithful servant thus share a common master. Now guess who that slave is: who came to do the will of our Lord God and was called "Lord" as he did so? What lord is it about in Matt. 24:4244? Assuming the answer is evident, we can say that the slave is one person, not a group of people and that any believer cannot be qualified as the position was already filled.

The context in Matt. 24 is roughly that there are signs to Jesus Christ's coming, that the end times will be perilous, that no one, even Jesus Christ, knows the time of his coming, and that Christians must get ready. In that context, the food given at the proper time is not material food, but is after Matt. 4:4 every word that comes from the mouth of God. According to me, the proper time refers to every moment when someone becomes hungry for the word of God or when s/he needs it. Jesus Christ's disciples were eager to know what would come next. That was the proper time to tell them. 

 

Edited by euggio

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4 hours ago, Last Daze said:

I agree that the parable should be taken as a whole.  It contrasts those who continue in obedience with those who allow their perception of their master's return to affect their behavior.  I think it serves as a warning against anyone who would become spiritually lazy based on their perception of when they think Jesus will return.  It doesn't matter what eschatological viewpoint one holds.  We are to guard against allowing our perception of end time events to affect our obedience to what we have already been instructed to do.  I see that as the main takeaway of the parable.  Like you said, "keep on keeping on."

  • Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.  John 4:34

We are to encourage one another to love and good works, and all the more as we see the day approaching.  May we all seek to know and do the will of God and persevere in such until He returns.

I see your point. So if the evil servant says in his mind he perceives a long period of time before the Master returns, what do we think about those who say his return is imminent? Inverse relationship? 

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27 minutes ago, Diaste said:

I see your point. So if the evil servant says in his mind he perceives a long period of time before the Master returns, what do we think about those who say his return is imminent? Inverse relationship? 

I'm not sure if it matters whether one perceives His return as imminent or a long way off so long as that perception isn't used to justify spiritual laziness.

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14 hours ago, Last Daze said:

I'm not sure if it matters whether one perceives His return as imminent or a long way off so long as that perception isn't used to justify spiritual laziness.

I have often wondered what is meant by spiritual laziness. I have heard the phrase many times and felt some used it as goad or an insult depending on situation.

Does it mean lack of study? Failure to grow in the spirit? Less understanding? Or is it an active thing?

I'm not saying it's an inappropriate term, just not sure about the definition.

The passage in question looks more like a fox in the hen house kinda thing to me where the nature of the fox will manifest when left in charge. Is that spiritually lazy or is it natural inclinations? 

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20 hours ago, euggio said:

Now guess who that slave is: who came to do the will of our Lord God and was called "Lord" as he did so? What lord is it about in Matt. 24:4244? Assuming the answer is evident, we can say that the slave is one person, not a group of people and that any believer cannot be qualified as the position was already filled. 

If you're suggesting that Jesus was the faithful and wise slave, that idea doesn't really fit the narrative. 

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3 hours ago, Diaste said:

I have often wondered what is meant by spiritual laziness. I have heard the phrase many times and felt some used it as goad or an insult depending on situation.

Does it mean lack of study? Failure to grow in the spirit? Less understanding? Or is it an active thing?

I'm not saying it's an inappropriate term, just not sure about the definition.

The passage in question looks more like a fox in the hen house kinda thing to me where the nature of the fox will manifest when left in charge. Is that spiritually lazy or is it natural inclinations? 

When I use the term "spiritually lazy" I mean that a person doesn't engage in the spiritual disciplines as they should according to the measure of faith given to them.  The reasons as to why, and the manifestations, are sure to vary.

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55 minutes ago, Last Daze said:

If you're suggesting that Jesus was the faithful and wise slave, that idea doesn't really fit the narrative. 

Why not? And Jesus seems to ask the question based on what he just said. That slave was put in charge of other slaves by their mutual master. To my humble opinion, it only does not fit the idea of Jesus's being considered a slave to God.

Edited by euggio

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24 minutes ago, euggio said:

Why not? And Jesus seems to ask the question based on what he just said. That slave was put in charge of other slaves by their mutual master. To my humble opinion, it only does not fit the idea of Jesus's being considered a slave to God.

The subject of the parable is the future return of Jesus.  He is our Lord, our Master.

  • Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  James 1:13

God can not be tempted by evil.  If the faithful and wise slave was a reference to Jesus then how can the following be explained?

  • But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 24:48-51

That's why Jesus being the slave doesn't fit the parable when taken as a whole.  There is a possibility that the slave is evil and Jesus, who is God, can not be tempted by evil.

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2 hours ago, Last Daze said:

That's why Jesus being the slave doesn't fit the parable when taken as a whole.  There is a possibility that the slave is evil and Jesus, who is God, can not be tempted by evil.

That's exactly what I said. You say it does not fit the narrative because you primarily share the view that Jesus Christ is God and as such cannot be also considered a slave to God. This is entirely logical. However, based on the opposite idea that God and Jesus Christ are separate spiritual entities, Jesus is still our Lord, but a Lord that only does the will of his Father, who then is a greater Lord (John 5:19; 6:38).

 The slave is not evil. Jesus is just comparing two possible behaviors and their corresponding outcomes. If the slave does right by his subordinates, his master will entrust him with all his possessions. However, if he is wicked then he will pay the price of his wickedness at an hour that he is not aware of. And that fits the narrative about the unknown hour because the ruling slave and the other slaves in the master's household do not know it, except for the master.

Let's suppose that Jesus is not the slave in question. Who else is? Is the question that Jesus asked his disciples in Matt. 24:45 a rhetorical question? I ask this because if the slave also does not exist yet, Jesus could not expect his disciples to answer it without telling them.  

Edited by euggio

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Great topic and discussion. Would like to add one verse that has so far been overlooked, however.

Rev. 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

-- which ties into these:

Luke 21:36 “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Dan. 12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation
[= the Great Trib.],
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered..."

When Moses went to deliver Israel out of Egypt, he brought them back to the very same place he had been shepherding sheep, the wilderness of Sinai in Arabia.

Even so, there are places being prepared now in the wilderness by those called out by the Lord for this very purpose.

Edited by WilliamL

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