Parables involving Servants and Masters
The relationship between servants and the master must be critical in Israel 2000 years ago.
Most of poor men must have lived as servants of a rich man. So, situations involving a master and servants must have been real and acute to them. That is why Christ Jesus took up this relationship in His parable.
Luke 12:35-48New International Version (NIV)
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 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. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.It is interesting that Christ Jesus did not depict masters as bad men. Assuming that a master was just and fair, He constituted those parables.
Christ Jesus focused on laziness of servants but not on arrogance and cruelty of masters. Masters were depicted as somebody servants should obey unconditionally. And He superimposed God on those masters against servants.
Christ Jesus did not encourage revolution where poor servants rose in revolt and executed masters. But, He rather seems to have taught poor followers to be faithful to a real master in their living like they should be faithful to God.
Indeed, peace and grace those poor followers could enjoy must have depended on their relationship with their masters in real lives 2000 years ago. Even today, poor people working under a boss in any business have their peace and grace depended on their relationship with the boss. And Christ Jesus did not encourage revolt at all.
Conversely, if you do not pay respect to God more than you do to your boss in business, you would be severely judged and treated by God, it must tell.
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Joh 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Joh 11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Joh 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
Joh 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
Joh 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.