Parables of Jesus


Parables of wisdom

Usual name of the parabole:

- The faithful and wise slave.
- The faithful or unfaithful servant.
- The two servants.

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The faithful and wise slave - Matthew

From the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24, Verses 45-51

"What then is that faithful and wise servant, whom his master has appointed to his servants, to give them food in his time? Blessed is that servant who his master, when he returns, will find doing so. In truth I tell you that he will entrust to him the administration of all his possessions, but if that wicked servant says in his heart: "My master is slow to come," and he begins to beat his preserves, and to eat and drink with the drunkards; that servant will come in the day when he least expects it and in the hour he does not know, he will punish him severely and reserve the fate of the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth".

Matthew parable exegesis

This step is part of the great eschatological discourse made by Jesus on the end of time, characterized by a warning to his disciples to be attentive and alert, because no one knows when that time will come: "you do not know when the landlord will return, if in the evening or at midnight or at the cock crow or in the morning. What I say to you, I say to everyone: watch!"
(Mk 13,35-37)

In this parable, the discourse is directed in a special way to the Apostles and their successors placed as government of the Church. They were invited and sent to spread and explain the mysteries of God; they must therefore faithfully fulfill their mission: the Lord, from one moment to the next, will come to ask for reasons for their work: to the "wise servant", the Lord will grant to be great in heaven; but for that wicked and negligent servant, who will have dissipated the substances entrusted to him under the illusion of having enough time to enjoy and then remedy before the showdown, "the master of that servant will come on the day when he least expects it and in the "now that he does not know; he will punish him severely and reserve the fate of the hypocrites".

Here alludes to the torture that certain masters inflicted on their unfaithful servants, cutting them in two: the ancient masters had the right of life and death over their servants, and it was very frequent the case in which they did summary justice of those who they had been found infidels.

But who symbolically represents the evil servant? The shepherds of the peoples of God who, under the mantle of a holy office, seek their own interests and not those of God, or the hypocrites, who will therefore have the punishment described in the parable: "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" or eternal damnation.

If the day and the moment of the universal judgment is uncertain, the day and moment of death is also uncertain, followed by the particular judgment that irrevocably fixes the fate of men in eternity. Therefore the exhortation to vigilance must not only refer to the last judgment, but to what will happen at the moment of death: it is necessary to always be prepared, because in every instant of life one can be surprised by death.

The real problem is therefore to ask how to behave in this waiting! The Gospel is full of the teachings of Jesus in this regard, it is a continuous exhortation to an edifying life for the salvation of our souls: we just have to follow His teachings. The Apostle Paul admonishes the Christians of Thessalonica: "You, brothers, are not in darkness, so that day may surprise you as a thief. In fact, you are all children of light and children of the day; we do not belong to the night, nor do we to darkness, so let us not sleep like the others, but remain awake and vigilant".
(1Ts 5,4-6)

Vigilance is the salt of all our action, it is the light of thinking, listening and speaking of every human being. We need nothing but a vigilant spirit, we must be ready every day and every hour, fully fulfilling the will of God, knowing that in the hour that we do not think the Lord comes.

Let us pray to the Lord to increase our charity in knowledge and in every kind of discernment, so that we can always distinguish the good and be whole and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with those fruits of justice that are obtained through Jesus Christ, to glory and praise of God.

The faithful and wise slave - Luke

The Lord replied: "What then is the faithful and wise administrator, whom the Lord will put at the head of his bondage, to distribute the food ration in due time? Blessed is that servant whom the master will find at his work when he arrives. I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions, but if that servant said in his heart: "The master is late in coming, and he begins to beat the servants and serves them, to eat, to drink and to get drunk, the master of that servant will arrive on the day when he least expects it and in an hour he does not know, and will punish him with rigor, assigning him the place among the infidels.