In today’s society, we don’t hear the words servant or master very often. In fact, just hearing the words conjures up images in our minds that we would just as soon not think about.
America is a relatively young nation, and it was not all that long ago that the words servant (or slave) and master were a part of an everyday life that nearly destroyed this nation. So, it is easy to understand why we have an aversion to these words.
In the Bible however, the words servant shows up 885 times in the KJV Bible (741 OT/144 NT), while the word master appears 184 times (100 OT/84 NT).
Obviously, it was common practice in those days for there to exist several different classes, or levels of people in society, and the lines between servant and master were clearly drawn.
In his Matthew 24 discourse, Jesus used this class distinction between servant and master when explaining to his disciples the conditions that would exist just prior to his second coming. He knew, of course, that his audience at the time would clearly understand his references.
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus is warning all to be on guard and not to become like the servant who lost sight of the fact that his master was indeed going to come again. Jesus refers to this type of servant as “evil” because he has become like the world around him, mistreating others and partaking of things that drove him even further away from his master.
On the other hand, Jesus refers to the “faithful” servant as one who is busy doing the will of his master. This servant has not forgotten that his master is coming again and is working diligently to faithfully fulfill his charge.
All of this points to us today who are living in the hour where we are witnessing the beginnings of the “falling away”, spoken of by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:3.
The hearts of many are becoming cold, just as Jesus said they would in Matt. 24:12. We hardly need to be reminded of this fact by scripture, but it was prophesied nonetheless.
From where I sit on the front row, it would seem that we are fast approaching the time when we will once and for all have to make the decision to either be counted as faithful, or to join the ranks of those already fallen away into unbelief.
One thing is for certain, the day is at hand where straddling the fence between the two will no longer be an option.
My prayer is that all who will read this will take the attitude of Joshua, who said “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).