Summary: Because the Christian is unsupervised, irresponsibility is a great possibility. Jesus tells us this parable so we will be encouraged to faithfulness & warned against unfaithfulness.



[John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 5:2-3]

Last week we learn that Jesus’ disciples are to be alert, expecting His return. Not only are we to be watching and waiting for Jesus, we are to be working for Jesus. So here Jesus encourages His disciples to remain faithful to that to which they have been called. If we are faithful to our calling, He promises us a reward.

God’s servants are to be responsible with the life He has called us to live and the ministry He has called us to do. Yet because the Christian is unsupervised, irresponsibility is a great possibility. Jesus tells us this parable so we will be encouraged to faithfulness and warned against unfaithfulness (CIT).




Peter’s question in verse 41 combines the previous with the following parable. “Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?”

Peter understands the importance of Jesus’ teaching and wants to know the extent of the first parable’s meaning. Was it addressed only to the disciples or to everyone? [Both groups mentioned throughout the chapter (vv. 1, 13, 22, 32).] Jesus will talk to both groups or to both saved and unsaved, both follower and leader.

To illustrate more clearly what He means Jesus tells another parable, which begins in verse 42. “And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?”

Jesus did not directly response to Peter’s question. Instead Jesus tells another parable. The parable uses a picture of a steward or manager placed in charge of the master’s household. “Puts in charge” seems to indicate those given the responsibility of direction or leadership.

Notice what THE AREA for this steward or manager responsibility is. He is “Put in charge... to give them their rations” or food allowance. This ration seems to reference the responsibility of feeding the sheep (John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 5:2-3). This steward’s area of leadership responsibility, what He was put in charge of, is feeding the sheep at the proper time. The steward was to continue faithfully in this task of giving them their ration [until God returns to bring in the kingdom.

This giving them their ration or feeding of the sheep may not seem like an important task, but it is vitally necessary for the life of the sheep. Let me ask you do you remember what you had for supper last month on Tuesday? Well you may not remember what you have eaten everyday last month, but if you had not eaten it you would have starved.

The same is true with the ministry of the Word of God. You may not remember every sermon you heard last year, but if you had not received a portion of the Word you would have been starved spiritually. Feeding or nurturing the sheep is an important task if the sheep are going to have the opportunity and ability to not only to survive but to thrive spiritually.

Verse 43 again proclaims God’s future blessing upon His faithful servants. “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Jesus pronounces a blessing on that steward whose behavior is faithful [apart from any calculations of the early or late arrival of the master]. This is the third time in this section that Jesus promises blessing to those who live their life preparing for Jesus return. Blessed is the one living daily in the expectation that the Son of Man might return.

The good servant is the one who living his life in expectation of his master’s return. This steward is faithfully serving his master’s interests during his master’s absence. He will be the object of the master’s special favor or grace.

Verse 44 indicates the promised reward for the faithful steward. “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

“I tell you the truth” indicates a solemn vow. Jesus uses th phrase “puts in charge of all his possession” to describe the reward coming to those who by faithfully serving the Lord are preparing for His coming (12:21, 33, 18:22, 30, 19:17, 19). Christian stewardship brings the potential for great reward (12:46, Jas. 3:1).

So again Jesus promises to reward those who have been faithful to Him. While we sometimes experience immediate and material rewards for our obedience to God, this is not usually the case. If so, we would be tempted to do good only for our earthly prosperity. Jesus implies that if we look for rewards now, we will lose them later (see Mark 8:36).

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