Summary: The Faithful & Wise servant vs. the Wicked Servant.
The evil activities Jesus continues to mention in Matthew 24:49, the beating of fellow servants/slaves and eating and drinking with drunkards, are not meant to characterize every unbeliever. But are meant to characterize those activities and attitudes that many have. Because they think the Lord will not come for a long time, they will feel free to indulge themselves in whatever sins and pleasures they desire.
Illustration: Eternal Life
B. J. Honeycutt, a character on the T.V. series “M.A.S.H.,” gave this reason for why he didn’t give in to temptation in the midst of the Korean War: “I live in an insane world where nothing makes sense. Everyone around me lives for the now, because there may not be a tomorrow. But I have to live for tomorrow, because for me there is no now.”
For B. J., his hope for the future was seeing his family again. That hope was sufficient to define how he would behave in an extremely difficult situation. How much more so should our future hope of the kingdom of God shape how we live? (Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
Third, we see:
c) The Catching of the Wicked Servant (Matthew 24:50)
Matthew 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know (ESV)
Since the foolish wicked servant had a mistaken belief, and resulting poor conduct, they are unprepared for the master’s unexpected return. In this case the master will not come as Savior and King to bless and to reward but will come as Judge and Executioner to condemn and to destroy.
Neither slave knew when the master would return, but for the first slave that did not matter because he was ready at any time. It is only the irresponsible who need worry about the parousia, and yet it is precisely they who do not worry about it, and will suffer as a result (France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (945). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.).
Illustration: Christ, Return of
Mexican jails are not known for their tidiness or orderliness. Shortly after having taken office, the then President of Mexico, Luis Echeverria, decided to do something about this. Without giving any advance notice, he chose to visit the jails at midnight. He found guards away from their posts, prisoners not taken care of, and other discrepancies between the expectations and reality. He proceeded to fire people and clean up the system.
• We never know when our Lord may come. Let us not be lax in our responsibilities so that the Lord finds us lacking (Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).
Finally we see:
d) The Condemnation of the Wicked Servant (Matthew 24:51)