Who is the faithful servant that is mentioned in Matthew 24:45 and the following verses? If "Food' is the Word / Truth, and a Faithful Servant is coming to give food at the proper time - could this be a real person?

Can this be interpreted as a real person, coming to fulfill this verse, by bringing some revelation or explanation (the Word / Food) at a proper time / end times?

Ma:24:45 "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?"

2 Answers 2


According to Luke (12:41, NIV), what Jesus says here was prompted by Peter's asking, Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone? - referring to what He just said:

It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes ... 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.1

Rather than answer Peter directly, one could say that Jesus acknowledges the good servants in the parable to be the Apostles, but - perhaps to stifle their pride - immediately follows with a stern rhetorical question and a dire warning:

Who then is the faithful and wise servant?

Suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 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 hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.2

One Byzantine commentary explains:

Who is the faithful and wise steward? The previous parable applies to many, but this one speaks of those into whose hands the care of the faithful is given. He begins the parable in the form of a question, asking, "Will anyone be found who has both faith and wisdom"? Such men are far and few between."3

1. Luke 12:37,38
2. Matthew 24:48-51
3. Theophylact of Ohrid (ca 1055-1107), Explanation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke (tr. from the Greek, Chrysostom Press, 1997), p.156.


It does not seem to be applied to any concrete person, but is a rhetorical question inviting, or rather, commanding all faithful to be such servants.

If so, then not only apostles, the distributors and dispensers, "right apportioners" (2 Timothy 2:15) of the word of truth come under this category, but all Christians.

If so, then also those Christians who do not have the special apostolic appointment are obliged to "feed servants", that is to say, grow and nurture those features in their lives, that will not wither with their perishable bodies, that will not be ever taken by the perfidious thieves - i.e. the days and years - but will last forever.

It is, thus, a call to Christians for embellishing their characters, their "inner man" or "hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4), bearing all gifts of the Spirit of which Paul speaks - love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) - that is to say, endless cultivation of those qualities in one's soul through feeding those aspects in our created souls (metaphorically called "servants" because of the feature of createdness) through nourishment of the uncreated Spirit that eternally proceeds from the Father (John 15:26) and divinizes our souls, making us free from Law (Gal.5:23) and from gravity of sin (2 Cor. 3:17), turning us from servants to sons of God (Rom. 8:15), and thus, kings and co-heirs of His only-begotten Son.

Unless we do so, when Jesus comes, we will not be able even to notice and recognize Him, for only through interactions with the Holy Spirit whom He has given us (John 20:22), in Whom we should bath constantly our conscience (Rom. 9:1), we can understand His divinity and worship Him as Lord (1 Cor. 12:3).

And from such people, who will not cultivate in this way the spiritual gifts, and will not make use of the Spirit given to them for this very cultivation, Jesus will not let into His and His Father's and Holy Spirit's kingdom, but "cut him in two" (Luke 12:46), that is to say, remove the salvific presence of the Holy Spirit from such a man, which was his better and glorious part, and which Paul prefers to die than to be deprived of (1 Cor.9:15), and "hell" is nothing else but privation of Holy Spirit.

That's why the Psalmist beseeches Lord "do not take Your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11).

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