But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming;
All Commentaries on Matthew 24:48 Go To Matthew 24
Cyril of Alexandria
This teaching is directed against the rulers who are leading a luxurious and leisurely lifestyle. He calls the negligent teacher a wicked and evil servant because he takes advantage of the judge’s absence and believes he will not be observed because of the judge’s forbearance. So he beats harshly those over whom he holds power and associates with those who are in love with the flesh. They sin both because the judge is not present and because they don’t think judgment will ever arrive. By wounding some of them, he points out those who are disabled in soul because of the luxury of their exalted positions. Just as the apostle says, “When you sin against your brothers in this way [you] wound their weak conscience.” Therefore he threatens to introduce the most severe punishments to those living selfindulgently …. Those who pretend to understand the principles of the good life are not thinking as they should but are only clothing themselves in the appearance of virtue. They will be cut into pieces on that fearful day of judgment. This is a judgment from the Spirit and results in a perpetual alienation …. Grace will be cut off from all the pollution of his soul, and his part will be reckoned with the hypocrites. Jesus calls hypocrites those who are cut into pieces and yet continue to teach others the way to live. They succeed only in making things worse for those learning the life of discipleship. Further, Jesus teaches that those who have not carried out faithfully the ministry given to them in this present life from the Lord will not receive another from him …. For the cutting Jesus reveals is not a bodily one but the stripping of their adoption as sons from the Spirit. Moreover, they are punished because they lived a life of derision. They will gnash their teeth when they consider the reason for their pain and the exceedingly severe character of their punishment.