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 in the Omer.
Today is forty-three days which are six weeks and one day in the Omer.
היום שלושה וארבעים יום, שהם שישה שבועות ויום אחד בעומר. פ
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 sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count 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׃
מי הוא אפוא העבד הנאמן שהפקידו האדון על בני ביתו לתת להם את אכלם בעתו? אשרי העבד שיבוא אדוניו וימצא אותו עושה כן. אמן. אומר אני לכם, הוא יפקיד אותו על כל אשר לו. אבל אם העבד הרע יאמר בלבו אדוני מתמהמה ויתחיל להכות את חבריו העבדים ויאכל וישתה עם השכורים, בוא יבוא אדוניו של העבד ההוא ביום שאינו מצפה לו ובשעה שאינו יודע, ישסף אותו וישים חלקו עם הצבועים; שם יהיו היללה וחרוק השיניים. פ
[Mattai 24:45] Who, therefore, is the faithful and understanding servant whom his master has appointed over the servants to give them their food in its time? Blessed, happy (אַשְׁרֵי-ashrei) is the servant whose master comes and finds him doing so! Amen, I say to you, he will entrust to him everything he has. But if the wicked servant says to himself, “My master delays in coming,” and beats his fellow servants and eats and drinks with the drunkards, [then] the master of that servant will most certainly come on a day that he does not expect him; 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 the grinding of the 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 21st Century) 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 Avinu; and not the prideful Bad Tree that bears from the heart the bad fruit of sinful man:
*Today’s physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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. Therefore, 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 the abundance of (evil) that is in 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], 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 21st 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 in Jerusalem and the demise of the old nation of Israel in 70 C.E. and into the era of the birth of the new Israel (1948 C.E.).
Miraculously, 70 years ago Israel was revived as a nation!
Howbeit, Israel has been re-born during a time of great global conflict and persecution. Nevertheless, Israel is now being afforded a second chance to believe (abide as branches) in the (real) Messiah of Israel (the true 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 hope for the New Israel and for all of the nations, peoples and families of the world. For it is promised by the prophet Isaiah that when all Israel comes to full faith in our Messiah, Adonai (our Father and our G-d) will complete His restoration of Israel. For Adonai Eloheinu has promised us that on that very day:
All the people of Israel will be righteous; and we shall possess the land (His land) forever!
ועמך כלם צדיקים לעולם יירשו ארץ נצר [מטעו כ] (מטעי ק) מעשה ידי להתפאר׃
וְעַמֵּךְ֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם צַדִּיקִ֔ים לְעֹולָ֖ם יִ֣ירְשׁוּ אָ֑רֶץ נֵ֧צֶר [מַטָּעֹו כ] (מַטָּעַ֛י ק) מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדַ֖י לְהִתְפָּאֵֽר׃
[Isaiah 60:21] “Then all your people will be righteous; they (Israel) will possess the land forever, the branch (נֵ֧צֶר-a shoot; figuratively a descendant) of His (G-d’s) planting, the *work of My hands, that I may be glorified.”
*Our righteousness is the work of the Spirit of Adonai. By grace we are saved; it is not the work of ourselves; it is solely the work of Adonai (our G-d). Therefore, we boast (give all the credit) for our salvation and the righteousness that comes to us by faith—-to Adonai Avinu (our G-d).
The Wise and Sensible Servant:
Across the span of time the Messiah gives some practical instructions to his modern (twenty-first century) Jewish family as to what we should be doing during the present period of his long physical absence, 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 our master returning to Israel as the King of Glory (Melekh HaKavod), so that he might deliver modern Israel from her enemies and restore the Rule of G-d (Yisra’el) here on earth; to peacefully rule over all of the nations, peoples, and families 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 Avinu has entrusted the care of all things in this earth first to our Messiah and then to us (Israel -under *his watchful care). 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 our Master (Ha-Mashiach) returns.
*The Messiah is our (Israel’s) Good Shepherd (הרועה הטוב).
The tragic fate of the Unfaithful Servant:
In contrast to the rewarded faithful Jewish servant, an unfaithful servant who fails to carry out his stewardship will be judged severely. Such a servant, believing that his Master was not returning for a long time, took advantage of the other Jewish servants who he was entrusted to look after (he *beat his fellow servants) and lived wickedly eating and **drinking with drunkards (i.e. the hirelings; temporary employees, non-members of the household).
* “Beating of the fellow servants” – This principally (contextually) refers to an abuse of the sacred works of the Hebrew Scriptures. This occurs when the Word of G-d is repeatedly misinterpreted and misapplied (the prophets are beaten; abused) by the unfaithful servant’s poor, self-centered, irresponsible stewardship.
** “Drinking with the drunkards” – The unfaithful Jewish servant is not sober-minded in carrying out his duty; which is to fully obey the whole counsel of the D’var HaShem (the Tanakh and the Brit HaChadashah). Instead, the unfaithful servant acts as a hireling—a temporary employee—who as a non-member of the household of Israel serves at his own “pleasure.” He takes time off whenever he wants to get drunk; a symbol of a condition of pride and self-indulgence. Acting like a hireling means this unfaithful Jewish servant is acting as if he has no master. He is the master. He is hiring himself out only to get paid; so he can do whatever ‘he wants.’
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.