“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time.’” (Matt. 24:48)

IF YOU ARE OF A PARTICULAR AGE, you might recognize the name Joel Goodson. He was a character in a film starring Tom Cruise depicting a high school senior who decides to have a wild time when his parents are away. Another similarly themed movie featured a character named Ferris Bueller, who turns out to be a real scamp. Joel and Ferris are fictional characters who took advantage of their parents’ absence to get into all sorts of trouble. It’s every parent’s nightmare!

Jesus contrasted a faithful servant and a wicked servant in this parable in Matthew 24, and He did so to illustrate the expectations for God’s children while Jesus was away. While those who tend to His business and care for His creation will be recognized and rewarded for doing so, those who don’t will be condemned. Like the master who, upon arriving home, finds his evil servant up to no good, our heavenly Father will certainly know if we fail Him.

Joel’s and Ferris’s parents were none the wiser about their antics, and those comedic movies end with the boys surviving relatively unscathed. They did as they pleased when no one was looking, and it turned out all right. The same won’t be true for those who ignore the instructions of Jesus and behave likewise. And that will be far from funny.

Determine what you’d like to be doing when Jesus returns, then do it.

Hally Franz is a high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.