“In the parable of the household, the word itself is suggestive. Jesus said: ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household?’ The Greek word here translated household is only once again used. In Revelation we read that ‘the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’ What relation can there be between healing and household? This question can only be answered by an understanding of what this word household really signifies. It is the word from which we derive our word therapeutic, and the basal idea of it is healing. The word household refers to all such in the house as serve.

“That first word, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant?’ is the word bond-slave; but the word household comes from another term for servant, which is other than the word bond-slave. It is a word that signifies a loving service, a purpose of healing in service. This is a case of metonymy, where one word is put for another, which the other suggests, as when we say a man keeps a good table, when we refer really to his food. This word in the parable, then, suggests the picture of a great house, and one Lord; and of all those in the house under His control, as thinking of His interests, while serving under His command. He used the word that indicated the love principle in service, the tender healing ministry that only grows out of love. Thus in a word, flaming and flashing with meaning, we discover our Lord’s conception of His Church, during the time of His absence. His household all serve, but all serve by love, and the ministry is a healing ministry.

“Now let us very carefully notice His word; ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his household?’ This word must be interpreted by the consistent teaching of the Lord, that service is the condition of greatness. The servant is ‘set over.’ Why ‘set over’? Because he is a servant. This is not a picture of the priesthood, or of the ministry according to many modern conceptions of these. There is no sense in which any priesthood or ministry is set over the Church of God, save by their ministry. ‘Whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all.’ Here is Christ’s picture of one servant set over the rest, because he serves all the rest. It is not a picture of any man in the household, it is not a picture of one in official authority; it is the picture of each one in the exercise of the ministry of healing and of love”
(an excerpt from The Gospel of Matthew by G. Campbell Morgan on Matt 24:45-51 – published 1911)

The Church and Healing Ministry

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