What Does it Mean to Be a Good and Faithful Servant?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Jesus commends some at His appearance and says, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” so how can we be found to be faithful servants of God at Jesus’ return?

Will He Find Faith?

Jesus commends some at His appearing with, “Well done thou good and faithful servant,” so how can we be found to be faithful servants of God at Jesus’ return? Having been married many years now, I can honestly say I have been faithful to my wife. That means I never put any woman ahead of her. She alone receives my highest earthly affection and I will not have any affairs but rather, remain faithful to her until my death. Jesus often saw the lack of faith among the Jews. He once asked a rhetorical question, saying, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth” (Luke 18:8b)? Will He find a faithful remnant? Will He find those who are remaining faithful until the end, or will many fall away as Jesus’ second coming draws closer. We already see this happening today in dwindling church attendance.

Great Falling Away

People are too busy for God anymore, but those who leave the church, were actually never part of the church in the first place. Let the Apostle John explain what I mean. He wrote, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). If they were part of the Body of Christ, the church, they would have remained in the church and not having fallen away. True believers might fall away for a time, but like the Prodigal Son, they don’t stay in the pig pen. In fact, a falling away was prophesied by the Apostle Paul who wanted us to be vigilant about the end times. He wrote, “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess 2:3). We don’t know what the precise time will be, but we do know the “falling away” part has already begun. It is another sign of the end times, but the actual return of Jesus Christ could still be far away. We just don’t know. Only the Father knows.

Well Done

What greater joy could one experience than to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:23). Notice Jesus says, “Well done” and not “Done perfectly” or “You did the best you could.” If we have been faithful and available, our Lord will be pleased. He is not expecting perfection, for that is not possible this side of heaven. He is looking for those whom He can send for His name’s sake that are faithful, that are available, and that have a teachable spirit (Isaiah 6:8).

Faithful, Available & Teachable

God desires people that are “sold out” for Him. I use the acronym, F.A.T. He desires us to be “Faithful,” but also to be “Available,” and finally to be, “Teachable.” One person said, “Ninety percent of serving is just showing up,” and I think he’s right. Just be faithful to God and available to do what Jesus’ own hands and feet would still be doing if He were still here on earth (Matt 25:35-36). He takes our acts of kindness personally (Matt 25:40). So God wants disciples who are faithful to Him, to the church and to their families, and then He wishes us to be available to do what God has equipped us to do; those things that God has sovereignly appointed for us to do before time began (Eph 2:10). Finally, He desires that we remain teachable. Someone who is not teachable can be a “know-it-all,” and those are hard people to be around because there’s a lack of humility. When we believe we cannot learn anything new, then we have become prideful, unproductive and not useful to God. Those with a teachable spirit are more likely to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and His Word.

The Sower

Jesus spoke about how many would hear the Word but how many would fall away (Matt 7:21-23). He said, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path” (Matt 13:19). How does Satan (the evil one) snatch the seed of God’s Word out of their hearts? The same way he did to Eve in the Garden by planting doubts in Eve’s mind about what God really said. Have you not heard someone say, “It’s only a book written by men” (That’s false of course, i.e., 2 Tim 3:16-17). That’s the death of the one of the four seeds that were sown.

Next, that which “was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away” (Matt 13:20-21). That’s self-explanatory. They couldn’t take the persecution from their former friends, family or co-workers and so they bailed out…showing they were never really saved to begin with.

The last of the seed sown that died “was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Matt 13:22). The world and its pleasures…riches, pleasure, sexual immorality…all are more important to them than God.

God is sifting the hearts of men and women. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus shows that many listen to the Word, but only a few actually have ears to hear. Many will listen, but do they really hear? You can look at Scripture, but do we really see! Toils, troubles and persecution separate the wheat from the tares. The cares of this life lead to death, but caring for what God cares for (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) leads to eternal life.


If you are a good and faithful servant, you won’t shrink back in fear or shame at Jesus’ return as many will (1 John 2:28). You won’t be one of many who will wail with regret at His return (Rev 1:7). Wouldn’t you and I rather hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt 25:23).

I pray you have put your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ. Otherwise, I suggest you read about your fate in Scripture for those who reject Christ (Matt 7:21-23). Right now, as I write this, I plead with those who are reading this, that they repent today and put their trust in Jesus Christ…while it is still called “today” (2 Cor 6:2;Heb 3:8). If you refuse to do so, you will face God’s judgment after death (Heb 9:27) or at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), whatever even occurs first.

Here is some related reading for you: 8 Characteristics of a faithful Christian Servant

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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