The word “Faithful” in the Gospels - Part 3:
In Parts 1 & 2 we looked at 11 of the 12 occasions the Greek adjective “pistos,” translated “faithful” is used in the Gospel accounts and found that Jesus Christ was the only one to utter this word in these passages. He did so to teach His people, the Nation of Israel, that:
1) The faithful and wise servant is one who is constantly waiting and watching for his master's return, Matthew 24:45 - 5145 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
& Luke 12:41 - 4841 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
2) The good and faithful servant is one who is diligent to invest and therefore increase that with which he is entrusted by his master, Matthew 25:14 - 3014 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
& Luke 19:15 - 2815 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
3) Each individual Jew will be judged for fitness to enter God's Kingdom on how faithful they are with their earthly belongings/riches because they cannot serve both God and their riches at the same time, Luke 16:8 - 138 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
4) Those not faithful, according to the above standards are bound for hell.
Today we examine the 12th and last time “pistos” is found in the Gospels. It is used one time in John where again, Jesus uttered it. The King James translators rendered it “believing” instead of faithful: “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing (pistos, translated faithful elsewhere.) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:24 - 2924 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
We note there are 3 different words that have to do with faith or believing in these 6 verses, i.e., the adjective “pistos,” usually translated “faithful” but translated here with the word “believing” in John 20:2727 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
; the Greek word “pisteuo” usually translated “believe” is found 3 times; once by Thomas in verses 25 and twice by Jesus in verse 29; and the Greek word “apistos” translated “faithless” in verse 27. Therefore, the first lesson we come away with from this incident is that in a Biblical sense one must believe in order to be faithful. Put another way, one cannot be faithful to the Lord unless one believes in the Lord.
Thomas was one of the 12 Apostles but not much is written about him. He is mentioned 7 times in addition to this occasion. Twice he is called Didymus, which means “the twin.” On one occasion he showed real courage and love for Jesus, for he said in John 11:1616 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
“Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” But because of what he said in John 20:2525 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
about having to see for himself that Jesus had arisen from the dead he has been referred to as a doubter in a negative and sometimes derogatory fashion. Even today, people who do not believe something are called “doubting Thomas's.” I believe this misses the point of the role Thomas played here for at least three reasons. 1) When Jesus appeared to the disciples the first time when Thomas was absent as recorded in John 20:1919 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Jesus showed them His hands and side, demonstrating it was Him and He had indeed risen from the dead, verse 20. We must ask, would any of them taken the same route as Thomas had they not been there to witness Jesus personally? 2) When Jesus appeared to the disciples the first time He imparted the Holy Spirit upon them, verse 22, along with the ability to forgive sins or withhold the forgiveness of sins, verse 23 but Thomas was not there at that time to receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
3) Thomas' questioning the word of the others has been for the benefit of believers ever since then. That is, the Lord used Thomas to teach that we are blessed because we believe in Him in spite of the fact that we have never seen Him personally, John 20:2929 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
. After the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven He revealed to the Apostle Paul to explain this to us: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 2 Corinthians 5:6 & 76 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
. The point here being is that we today do not walk (go about our lives) by sight as Thomas did; we walk (go about our lives) by faith. And we know from Hebrews 11:11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
that “... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So it was that Thomas received his faith by direct physical contact with the living Word of God because Jesus Christ was the Word of God who was made flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:1 & 141 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
.) Those of us who have lived since the time Jesus Christ ascended into heaven have received our faith from the written Word of God, that is, our Bibles. The Apostle Paul explained this: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:1717 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.