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Wicked Servants

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We have been learning that wickedness is the forsaking of God and that the wicked know what they are doing. In the New Testament, who did Jesus call wicked? There are seven times Jesus used the word wicked on a person or people:

1. The Pharisees

· Jesus said, “…you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.”[1]

2. The teachers of the law

· Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”[2]

· When the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus for a sign, He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!”[3]

3. The wicked servant in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant[4]

· The master had mercy on the servant and cancelled his debt, but the servant was unmerciful to his fellow servant who owed him money. Thus, the master called him a wicked servant.

4. The wicked, lazy servant in the Parable of the Talents[5]

· The master entrusted his money to his servants according to each of their ability. The master called the servant who hid the money instead of putting it to work, a wicked, lazy servant.

5. The wicked servant in the Parable of the Ten Minas[6]

· The master gave ten minas to ten of his servants and told them to put the money to work. The master called the servant who kept the money away in a cloth instead of putting it to work, a wicked servant.

6. The wicked servant in Matthew 24

· Jesus said, “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? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. But 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.”[7]

7. The cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon

· In the New Living Translation, Jesus said that the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon are wicked.[8]

Now, what is the fate of those who are wicked?

· To the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, Jesus said, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on Earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.”[9]

“The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here [but you refuse to repent[10]]. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the Earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now One greater than Solomon is here [but you refuse to listen[11]]. When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”[12]

· In the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Jesus said, “In anger his master turned (the wicked servant) over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”[13]

· In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus said, ” ‘Take the talent from (the wicked, lazy servant) and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has [and use well what they are given[14]] will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have [or does nothing[15]], even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “[16]

· In the Parable of the Ten Minas, Jesus said, “‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! …Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has [and use well what they are given[17]], more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing [or does nothing[18]], even what he has will be taken away.’”[19]

· Regarding the wicked servant in Matthew 24, Jesus said, “The master of that servant… will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”[20]

· Regarding Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the Heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.[21]

Regarding Tyre, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I make you a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited, and when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you, then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the Earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living. I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord.”[22]

Regarding Sidon, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I am against you, O Sidon, and I will gain glory within you. They will know that I am the Lord, when I inflict punishment on her and show Myself holy within her. I will send a plague upon her and make blood flow in her streets. The slain will fall within her, with the sword against her on every side. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”[23]

It is written: The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the Earth, and His heart was filled with pain.[24] In the NLT, it is translated as: The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the Earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the Earth. It broke His heart. Jesus said, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”[25]

We have learnt that wickedness is not a sin and thus it is not covered under the New Covenant, for it is the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, not the covenant for the forgiveness of sin, wickedness and rebellion. Nevertheless, in the Old Testament, the Lord proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”[26]

But God says to the wicked: “Why bother reciting My decrees and pretending to obey My covenant? For you refuse My discipline and treat My words like trash. When you see thieves, you approve of them, and you spend your time with adulterers. Your mouth is filled with wickedness, and your tongue is full of lies. You sit around and slander your brother—your own mother’s son. While you did all this, I remained silent, and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all My charges against you. Repent, all of you who forget Me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours Me. If you keep to My path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”[27]

God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. When the Earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the One who keeps its foundations firm. I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the Heavens or speak with such arrogance.’”[28]

There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”[29]

So, how does one turn from being wicked? The answer is simple, really. Listen to Jesus and practise His words carefully. God is good.[30] He is kind to the wicked.[31] He is merciful[32] and He desires mercy.[33] He loves the Father and does exactly what the Father commanded Him.[34] So, be like Jesus. Do exactly what the Father commanded us, which is listen to Jesus. What did Jesus command us? If you do not know already, go and read what He said in the Bible. And I am talking about listening to Jesus only, not the apostles or prophets or other men of God as well, not even Moses or Elijah or Paul. These are not my words, for Father Himself said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[35] When the Father told this to the disciples of Jesus, Moses and Elijah were also there, but did the Father command us to listen to them or anyone else? No! He only commanded us to listen to His Son, Jesus Christ.

So stop running around like headless chickens. It is not about you or me. It is all about Jesus. Jesus wants to come back! Do you think it is a joke or a small matter? If not, are you doing anything to bring Jesus back, you who call yourselves servants of the Lord? Or are you one of His wicked servants?

Father, have mercy on us, for the wickedness in our hearts and that which has overflowed unto our mouths and hands. Amen.


 

[1] Luke 11:39

[2] Matthew 23:27-28

[3] Matthew 12:38

[4] Matthew 18:23-35

[5] Matthew 25:14-30

[6] Luke 19:12-27

[7] Matthew 24:45-46,48-50

[8] Matthew 10:15, 11:21, Luke 10:13 NLT

[9] Matthew 23:33-36

[10] Matthew 12:41 NLT

[11] Matthew 12:42 NLT

[12] Matthew 12:41-45

[13] Matthew 18:34

[14] Matthew 25:29 NLT

[15] Matthew 25:29 NLT

[16] Matthew 25:28-30

[17] Luke 19:26 NLT

[18] Luke 19:27 NLT

[19] Luke 19:22,24-26

[20] Matthew 24:51

[21] Genesis 19:24-25

[22] Ezekiel 26:19-21

[23] Ezekiel 28:22-23

[24] Genesis 6:5-6

[25] Mark 7:21-22 NLT

[26] Exodus 34:6-7

[27] Psalm 50:16-23 NLT

[28] Psalm 75:2-5 NLT

[29] Isaiah 48:22, 57:21

[30] Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19 NLT

[31] Luke 6:35

[32] Luke 6:36

[33] Matthew 9:13, 12:7

[34] John 14:31

[35] Matthew 17:5

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