Matthew 24:48

ESV But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’
NIV But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,'
NASB But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’
CSB But if that wicked servant says in his heart, 'My master is delayed,'
NLT But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’
KJV But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

What does Matthew 24:48 mean?

Jesus is using a parable to show the difference between proper readiness for His return, versus carelessly ignoring that impending moment (Matthew 24:42). He has described the master of a household who leaves a servant in charge of running things and feeding the other servants. The master returns and finds His servant doing his work exactly as he was instructed. That trusted servant is blessed with greater responsibility, and greater honor, over all the master owns (Matthew 24:45–47).

In contrast, Christ depicts a servant left in the same position who decides that his master's return is delayed. This servant assumes that since the master has not returned by now, he must not be coming anytime soon (2 Peter 3:3–7). Is this a hint from Jesus that the time of His return may be much longer than His followers may have expected at first? Perhaps.

The following verses show that the wicked servant, thinking he has been left on his own, will respond by living as if there will be no consequences for his actions (Matthew 24:49).
What is the Gospel?
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