Synopsis of Parable:
Man goes on a journey, leaving home. Tells slaves to work and the doorkeeper to stay awake.
Parable Given in Response to:
Regarding the question Jesus's four of Jesus's apostles asked him about the signs of the demolishment of the temple and some buildings.(Mark 13:4.) Jesus gave this parable in front of the treasury.(Mark 12:41.)
Master of the House
|Jesus||Mark 13:34, 35|
|↓Far Journey||Jesus's Trip Back to Heaven||Mark 13:34|
|↓Porter||Followers of God||Mark 13:34|
The Parable of the Alert Servants
As presented in the King James Version of Mark 13:32-37
Explanation of the Interpretation of Symbols
The Man and Master of the House are Jesus Back to Top ↑
The man is the master of the house.
There is no reason to doubt this interpretation. Jesus stated this interpretation clearly.
The Far Journey is Jesus's Trip Back to Heaven Back to Top ↑
The far journey is a trip to heaven.
A journey needs a destination, and heaven is a perfect location for a journey. Even before Jesus's death,
he told his disciples the reason he was going ahead of them.
The House is Earth Back to Top ↑
There is no other interpretation besides "Earth" that would make logical sense for this symbol.
The Porter is the Follower of God Back to Top ↑
Jesus spoke this parable at the temple treasury,(Mark 12:41.) where he called over his disciples(Mark 12:43.) to tell them of a widow's donation. As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples proclaimed astonishment about the buildings,(Mark 13:1.) but Jesus was not amused, saying that all the stones of the buildings would be thrown down.(Mark 13:2.)
Directly after this that Peter, James, John, and Andrew seek Jesus out on the Mount of Olives, and ask him
So, the audience is Simon, James, John, and Andrew. Therefore, the interpretation of the porter must either be those four, or include those four apostles. Given that the parable is talking about the second coming of Jesus(Mark 13:2, 4, 26, 32.) and that Jesus once described how Simon would die,(John 21:18, 19.) we know that Jesus did not think these four apostles would live on earth forever. That means that the porter cannot only be those four, since they would have waited in vain: Jesus did not come again during their lifetimes. That means that the porters are still alive today, and therefore they are a group of people.
Thus, the porters are the followers of Jesus. Even today, we desperately seek for the conditions that Jesus
describes would occur before his coming. Constantly, we are analyzing every new technology, illness,
war, and earthquake to determine if they match other signs of Jesus. Lastly, we share this knowledge with
everyone in the world, freely. This interpretation makes sense with Jesus's last sentence of the parable,
In Conclusion Back to Top ↑
This parable is an extension on the lesson that Jesus was already teaching: that his followers should be watching for signs of his second coming, and not to grow lax about it.