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Parable of the Faithful Servant Life Lessons

Some of Jesus’ parables describe the end times – when Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. The world, as we know it, will end.

The Parable of the Faithful Servant (sometimes known as the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants and the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants), is one such parable.

The Parable of the Faithful Servant is included in two Gospels, Matthew 24 45-51 and Luke 12 42-48.  You can find them HERE.

The topic of these parables is described as the ‘day and hour unknown’ in Matthew 24:36 NIV: 

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Parable of the Faithful Servant Life Lessons (Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants)

Parable of the Faithful Servant Summary

When a master puts his servant in charge of other servants and then leaves, he will return after an undetermined time to find that the servant is either doing as the master wanted or has drifted into sinful and rebellious ways.

If he’s remained a loyal servant, he will be rewarded generously. If he’s turned from the master’s ways, he will be condemned.

Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants Meaning

Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants meaning is that the return of Christ and His final judgment will come as a surprise – at an unknown day and time.

His wise and faithful servants will stay faithful to Christ until He returns, whereas the unfaithful (foolish) servants will grow tired of waiting and turn to worldly ways.

The unfaithful will face harsh punishment when Christ returns.

Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants Lessons

Thinking about the end times might make many of us nervous, but it’s a necessary part of our journey in faith.

When Jesus died for our sins to offer us salvation, it meant that some people would be saved and others wouldn’t be.

This fate is a choice we make and that’s the point of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants. We either love Jesus enough to live accordingly or we don’t.

4 Life Lessons from the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants.

1. The time will come

When we’re young, we never imagine our life ending. We feel invincible and carefree.

The fact is that our days are limited and we don’t know the day or hour our time on earth will end. Rather than letting this sobering reality paralyze you with fear, allow it to energize you instead. 

Living your life in honor of God is the most satisfying life you can possibly live. If you choose to live for God, you have nothing to fear about the end of your life. 

If you’ve been living for the ways of the world, without honor to God, you can change all that today with new choices that align your life with God’s will. 

2. The wait is worth it

When we choose to align our lives with God, we forgo the shiny and flashy goals of the world.

We use our hard-earned money to help those in need and we spend time with our families instead of working 80 hours per week so we can give our children every new gadget. 

Living for Christ means sacrificing. It means making choices that we wouldn’t necessarily make if there was nothing else at stake. It requires foregoing our greedy and selfish desires. 

But the best news about living for Christ is that your devotion to Him will be rewarded with an amazing eternity that’s beyond anything you can imagine.

Any deference of gratification you make in this life for Christ’s sake will be well worth the wait!

3. A lion is always a lion

A more suitable title for this point may have been, “Don’t let your guard down”, but I wanted this topic to seem more hopefully realistic than just a dreary downer.

Have you ever seen a video that shows a human playing with a bear or a lion or some other wild man-eating animal? The people in the videos have a very false sense of security. We know this is true because sometimes we see a news headline about one of the animals killing their handler.

As humans, we tend to have inflated egos. We like to think we’re too smart to fall for a scam and that we can recognize evil.

But then we start justifying things in our own minds. We stop seeing lions as deadly predators and think we can make them our pets. We stop seeing them for who and what they are. And when they strike to kill us, we’re shocked.

As Christians, we have to remember that lions are always lions.

When the world tells us that it’s okay to play with the lion because it won’t hurt us, we have to keep our sane minds and remember it’s still a lion, no matter what we’re being told.

The world will tell us that dangerous things that turn us away from Christ are OK, but we have to keep our eyes on God to keep seeing those things for the truth of what they really are.

4. Beware of slippery slopes

One of the common habits of a faithful Christian is to read God’s Word daily. I can attest to the reason that this is a critical habit.

Reading the Bible (then reflecting on and praying over what you’ve read) is probably one of the most effective ways of seeking God and developing a personal relationship with Him.

As someone who has not always read the Bible daily, I can assure you that if you’re not moving toward God, you’re slipping away. Each day that you forgo spending time with Him, it becomes easier and easier to skip the next day. And then the next.

Before you know it, you can’t even remember the last time you spent quality time with God in His Word or in prayer or reflection. 

This is a slippery slope that Christians need to be attentive to. 

The tricky thing about slippery slopes is you don’t even realize you’re sliding away until it’s too late.

In the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants, the unfaithful servants got tired of waiting for their master to return and just slowly slipped into satisfying their own desires. Beware of that slippery slope.

Divine Wisdom: Life Lessons from the Parables of Jesus Devotional Bible Study by Shirley Alarie front cover of book

Are you seeking deeper faith, a more meaningful life, or greater inner peace?

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Parable of the Faithful Servant Bible Verses

The Parable of the Faithful Servant is included in Matthew 24 45-51 and Luke 12 42-48. Both versions are included below:

Matthew 24 45 51 NIV

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. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Parable of the Faithful Servant Luke 1248 (Luke 12:42-48) NIV

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.

Commentary: Matthew 24 45 51 Luke 1248 

Find The Parable of the Faithful Servant (The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Servants or the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants) Commentaries at Bible Study Tools.com. They include free and paid versions. For this article, I referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

This post may contain affiliate links. This is my full disclosure.

Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

More Parables!

Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!

Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.

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Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

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