Parable of the Watchful Servants: Verse, Meaning & Lesson

The Parable of the Watchful Servants is in Mark 13:34–37 and Luke 12:35–40. Jesus told this parable to emphasize the importance of being spiritually prepared and vigilant for the Second Coming as the exact time is unknown.

This guide gives you a complete summary of the Parable of the Watchful Servants, including the verses in Scripture, the meaning, and lessons that can be applied to the Christian life.

Parable of the Watchful Servants In Scripture

Mark 13:34–37 – Parable of the Watchful Servants

34  “It is like a man travelling to another country, having left his house and given authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. 35  Watch therefore, for you don’t know when the lord of the house is coming—whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; 36  lest, coming suddenly, he might find you sleeping. 37  What I tell you, I tell all: Watch!”

Read Mark 13

Luke 12:35–40 – Parable of the Watchful Servants

35  “Let your waist be dressed and your lamps burning. 36  Be like men watching for their lord when he returns from the wedding feast, that when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. 37  Blessed are those servants whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you that he will dress himself, make them recline, and will come and serve them. 38  They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch and finds them so. 39  But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40  Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don’t expect him.”

Read Luke 12

Parable of the Watchful Servants Meaning

This parable means that followers of Jesus should live in a state of readiness, anticipating His return at any moment, likening believers to servants who must remain alert and ready for their master’s return from a wedding feast, at any hour, even if it is unexpected.

The parable emphasizes the importance of being spiritually prepared and actively serving God, as the exact time of the Second Coming is unknown. It encourages vigilance and faithfulness, suggesting that those who are found watchful will be rewarded.

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Parable of the Watchful Servants Lessons

Be Prepared

The main lesson is that Christians are called to live in a state of spiritual readiness, always prepared for the return of Christ, which could happen at any moment.

Stay Faithful

The parable encourages Christians to remain faithful in their duties and responsibilities, knowing that their faithfulness will be rewarded. We should live with hope and confidence in Christ’s return despite our daily circumstances.

Remain Vigilant

Vigilance is another key theme, as believers are to be watchful and alert, not becoming complacent or negligent in their spiritual walk.

Expect the Unexpected

The parable teaches that the timing of Christ’s return is unknown, so Christians should expect it at any time and live accordingly.

Humility in Service

A deeper lesson is that Christians who serve humbly and faithfully, without seeking personal glory, are honored by God. It illustrates a remarkable role reversal where the master serves the faithful servants, highlighting the value of humility and the blessings that come with being a humble servant of God.


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Read More Parables In the Bible

The Parable of the Watchful Servants is just one of many parables in the Bible. Use the links below to explore more of Jesus’ parables, their meanings, and life lessons.

Summary of the Parable of the Watchful Servants

We hope you enjoyed this summary of the Parable of the Watchful Servants.

As you discovered, the Parable of the Watchful Servants appears in Mark 13:34–37 and Luke 12:35–40. And the primary meaning of the parable is that followers of Jesus should live in a state of readiness, anticipating His return at any moment at the Second Coming. The life lessons include to be prepared, stay faithful, remain vigilant, expect the unexpected, and having humility in service to God.

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