A Question I Was Asked:

Can You Give me a Better Understanding of Matthew 24:44-45 Please?

As we know, as Christians we must be ready when Jesus comes, Matthew 24: 44. But, I ask you please to explain me this two phrases or all the next verse, they are in chapter 24: 45.

Number 1. who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has (put in charge of the servants) in his household... and,

number 2. to give them their (food at the proper time?) this final phrase mainly intrigues me more and the number 1, also.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, let us look at this:

42. "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46. It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' 49. and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. (Matthew 24:42-50).

Okay, first of all this has nothing to do with any concept of a "rapture," this concerns what we might call 'Christian preparedness.' Jesus asks His true disciples to live their lives in the general expectation that He could return at any time - this applies to every single one of us. We need to remember that when our lives here are concluded, then - for us - it is effectively His 'coming' as far as we are concerned, because we cannot do anything further from the grave, not as far as Christian character and conduct are concerned. Perhaps surprisingly, our Master is here compared to a thief who could 'visit' at any time. How have we used our talents? That is the big question which is being asked here.

We are all granted certain abilities and aptitudes, how have we used them in the Master's service? Even friendliness is a gift which some don't have and some Christians use this gift every well in His service. Now, some might suspect that this smacks of 'salvation by works' but it is not that. We are not saved by our works:

8. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - 9. not by works, so that no one can boast. 10. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10).

True Christian believers - let us understand - are already included in Christ's body:

28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30).

So Why Do We Need These Works?

God wants to see His people fulfil their potential because:

1. It glorifies Him.

2. It helps better serve the body of Christ.

3. We can still qualify for positions in His Kingdom.

There is no question that the Bible does teach some 'grading' among those whom are saved. Being saved is not according to this 'grading,' of course, that part is entirely down to the grace of God, but once saved, there is an eternity of service to God yet in front of us and we can't even imagine what this might involve!

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), certainly teaches that we are not all created equal. We are given talents "...each according to his ability." The master understood that the one-talent servant was incapable of producing as much as the five-talent servant but he was still expected to do his very best within his own limitations. So spiritual laziness ('I'm already saved so why should I worry?') is shown to be completely unacceptable.

Who/What is the "... faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time" in verse 45? This refers to all of us. How do we handle or distribute the knowledge which God has given to us? The 'food' in question is spiritual food.

So Matthew 24:42-50 is about us living our lives in a spirit of readiness to meet our Maker, that is the attitude which the Lord Jesus wants to see in us.

Robin A. Brace. May 31st, 2016.