Mashal #43. Wise and foolish servants:
- Today is Day #43
- The Forty-third Mashal of Messiah
- The Good Fruit being produced out of the Good Fig Tree & Vine of the Messiah
- The things prophesied so long ago are now coming to pass:
- The Sign of the resurgence of Messianic Judaism in Israel
- The Wise and Sensible Servant
- The reward of the Faithful Servant
- The tragic fate of the Unfaithful Servant
Today is Day #43:
1. Today is “Day #43” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is forty-three days which are six weeks and one day of the Omer.
.היום שלושה וארבעים יום, שהם שישה שבועות ויום אחד בעומר
Haiyom shloshah v-arba’im yom, shehaym shishah shavuot veyom echad ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Forty-third Mashal of Messiah:
מִי הוּא אֵפוֹא הָעֶבֶד הַנֶּאֱמַן וְהַנָּבוֹן אֲשֶׁר הִפְקִידוֹ אֲדֹנָיו עַל־עֲבָדָיו לָתֵת לָהֶם אֶת־אָכְלָם בְּעִתּוֹ׃ אַשְׁרֵי הָעֶבֶד אֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא אֲדֹנָיו וְיִמְצָאֵהוּ עֹשֶׂה כֵּן׃ אָמֵן אֹמֵר אֲנִי לָכֶם כִּי יַפְקִידֵהוּ עַל־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ׃ וְאִם־יֹאמַר הָעֶבֶד הָרַע בְּלִבּוֹ מְאַחֵר אֲדֹנִי לָבוֹא׃ וְהִכָּה אֶת־חֲבֵרָיו וְאָכַל וְשָׁתָה עִם־הַסּוֹבְאִים׃ בּוֹא יָבוֹא אֲדֹנֵי הָעֶבֶד הַהוּא בְּיוֹם לֹא יְצַפֶּה וּבְשָׁעָה לֹא יֵדָע׃ וִישַׁסֵּף אֹתוֹ וַיָשִׂים אֶת־חֶלְקוֹ עִם־הַחֲנֵפִים שָׁם תִּהְיֶה הַיְלָלָה וַחֲרֹק הַשִׁנָּיִם׃
Who, then, is the faithful and understanding servant whom his master has appointed over the servants to give them their food in its time? O, the gladness (אַשְׁרֵי-ashrei) of the servant whom the master comes and finds doing this! Amen, I say to you that he will appoint him over all that is his. But if the evil servant says in his heart, “My master delays in coming,” and beats his fellows and eats and drinks with the drunkards, the master of that servant will surely come on a day that he does not anticipate and in an hour that he does not know. He will cut him apart and place his portion with the hypocrites; where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
The Good Fruit being produced out of the Good Fig Tree & Vine of the Messiah:
When the Messiah used the words “now learn this lesson,” in the previous mashal of the “Sign of the future of a Fig Tree,” He was prophetically telling the Jewish audience of today (the modern physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) that it is time now for us to revisit His teaching and in so doing become the humble ‘Good Tree’ that bears from its heart the Good Fruit of Adonai; and not the prideful Bad Tree that bears from the heart the Bad Fruit of sinful man:
Truth #1. “You will know them [false priests, rabbis, and prophets] by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from bramble bushes (הַקּוֹצִים-briar-thorn bushes) nor figs from thistles (הַבַּרְקָנִים), are they?” “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit” The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Truth #2. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers [the first century rabbinate; i.e. the Prushim (Pharisees)], how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
Truth #3. “Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He [the Messiah] came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, ‘No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.’ ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again!’ And at once the fig tree withered.”
Truth #4. “Therefore I say to you [the first century religious leaders, the Old Fig Tree], the Kingdom of Adonai will be taken away from you and given to a people [the twenty-first century Yehudim, the New Fig Tree], producing the fruit of it.”
Truth #5. Regarding the Grapevine (the Messiah of Israel) and His branches (the people of Israel): “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (cf. Mashal #49, the “Vinedresser, Vine & the Branches,” Chapter 69)
The things that were prophesied so long ago are now coming to pass:
When the twigs of fig trees begin to get tender and put forth leaves that is a sure sign summer is not far away. Just as a fig tree was a harbinger of summer so the signs that the Messiah was prophesying about so long ago are now clearly coming to pass. In contrast to most of Israel’s trees fig trees lose their leaves in winter and bloom later in the spring. So whenever the stiff, dry winter twigs become tender, softened due to the rising sap and leaves appear, then observers know that winter is past, spring is here, and summer is near.
The Sign of the resurgence of Messianic Judaism in Israel:
The lesson of the fig tree projects us out of the first century time of the destruction of the Temple and the old nation of Israel in 70 C.E. and into the era of the birth of the new Israel (1948 C.E.). Now Israel once again is a nation. Howbeit, the new Israel has been re-born during a time of great global conflict and persecution. The new Israel is being afforded a second chance to believe (abide as branches) in the Messiah of Israel (the Vine of Adonai Avinu). If the natural branches (the people of Israel) abide in the Vine we will produce an abundance of good fruit and we will be greatly blessed. The presence today of messianic Judaism in Israel is a sign of messianic hope for the New Israel. For only when all Israel comes to full faith in Messiah will the complete restoration of Israel occur. For it is written (Isaiah 60):
וְעַמֵּךְ כֻּלָּם צַדִּיקִים לְעֹולָם יִירְשׁוּ אָרֶץ נֵצֶר מטעו מַעֲשֵׂה יָדַי לְהִתְפָּאֵֽר׃
Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch (נֵ֧צֶר-a shoot; figuratively a descendant) of His planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.
The Wise and Sensible Servant:
The Messiah gives some practical instructions to His modern (twenty-first century) family as to what we should be doing during the present period of His long physical absence from the earth, and what we can do to prepare for His imminent return at His second coming. In this prophetic context one should keep in mind that the primary application of today’s mashal, the ‘Wise and Foolish Servants,’ is directed toward today’s generation of Yehudim some of whom will experience a seven year tribulation period that will end with the Lord returning as the King of Glory (Melekh HaKavod), so that He might deliver Israel from her enemies and restore the Rule of G-d (Yisra’el) over all of the earth.
The reward of the Faithful Servant:
The coming of the Lord of Glory (Adon HaKavod) will be preceded by a test of His Jewish family. As the Master in today’s mashal entrusted all his possessions to his servants so Adonai has entrusted the care of all things in this earth to us. Our positive response to Adonai Avinu is to hear, understand, and obey the Messiah whom He has sent. This is the one thing that is necessary that our heavenly Father demands of us; on which everything else depends. Like the first steward, the Master wants to find His servants faithfully carrying out his will. Such a faithful servant will be rewarded for his service when the Master (Ha-Mashiach) returns.
The tragic fate of the Unfaithful Servant:
In contrast to the rewarded faithful servant, a servant who fails to carry out his stewardship will be judged severely. Such an unfaithful servant, believing that his Master was not returning for a long time, took advantage of others (he beat his fellow servants) and lived wickedly eating and drinking with drunkards.
Like the wicked people of Noah’s day, the self-preoccupied unfaithful servant was unaware of the sudden coming judgment. But the judgment will come and the Messiah will deal with the foolish servant as one would deal with a hypocrite; which is precisely what an unfaithful servant is.
Then the separation of the hypocrite will result in eternal judgment (weeping and gnashing of teeth). For the foolish servant will be cast out of the Master’s household. This means that the judgment of the wicked at the Master’s second coming will result in these unfaithful servants forever being separated from the Presence of Adonai.