|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:42-51 To watch for Christ's coming, is to maintain that temper of mind which we would be willing that our Lord should find us in. We know we have but a little time to live, we cannot know that we have a long time to live; much less do we know the time fixed for the judgment. Our Lord's coming will be happy to those that shall be found ready, but very dreadful to those that are not. If a man, professing to be the servant of Christ, be an unbeliever, covetous, ambitious, or a lover of pleasure, he will be cut off. Those who choose the world for their portion in this life, will have hell for their portion in the other life. May our Lord, when he cometh, pronounce us blessed, and present us to the Father, washed in his blood, purified by his Spirit, and fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Verse 49. - Shall begin. As soon as he conceives the idea of the delay in his lord's arrival, he changes his conduct, plays the master, and uses his power for oppression and injustice. But he has only time to commence these unrighteous acts, when he is arrested by the very occurrence which he had willfully ignored. To smite his fellow servants; i.e. those who are faithful to their master. Applied to Christian ministers, such conduct would appertain to those who use their authority for oppression or self-aggrandizement, "lording it over the charge allotted to them" (1 Peter 5:3). And to eat (ἐσθίῃ, and shall eat) and drink with the drunken. He indulges in luxury and intemperance, choosing as his companions men of dissolute habits. A self-indulgent minister, or one who is not discreet in choosing his friends and acquaintance, has little influence in checking the excesses of his flock, and is far from being, as he ought to be, "a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And shall begin to smite his fellow servants,.... By abusing the power lodged in him, usurping a dominion over their faith, and imposing on their consciences things which Christ has never commanded; vexing and burdening them with trifling rites and ceremonies, and other unnecessary things; wounding, grieving, offending weak minds by his conduct and example; or persecuting the saints, such of them as cannot come into everything in his way of believing and practising:
and to eat and drink with the drunken; giving himself up to luxury and intemperance; feeding himself instead of the family; serving his own belly, and not his Lord and Master Christ; living an ungodly and licentious life, altogether unbecoming the Gospel of Christ: such servants and stewards have been, and are in the church of God; but sad will be their case, when their Lord comes, as follows. Respect seems to be had either to the ecclesiastical rulers among the Jews, who went under the name of the servants of the Lord, but persecuted the apostles, and those that believed in Christ; or the "Judaizing" Christians, and false teachers, that were for imposing the ceremonies of the law upon believers; or Simon Magus, and his followers, a set of licentious, men; or all of them; who lived in this period of time, between the death of Christ, and the destruction of the temple.
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