The servants of the Lord in this section are those who have a responsibility for the church. They are the teachers, preachers and ministers of the church. Their responsibilities are to care for the people of the Lord and to ensure they teach them well so the people grow to maturity in Jesus Christ.
Jesus places a warning in this section to all teachers and preachers in the church. He warns them not to consider their roles as an opportunity for power over the people, but rather to to serve God by serving his people. They are not given authority to rule for their own benefit. They have authority to rule for the benefit of the people.
Good leadership and good rule is a benefit to the people when it provides a benefit to people. Good rulers in the church are givers not takers. They offer the people the gifts of the Lord for their upbuilding and growth. The whole purpose of ministry is to bring people to maturity in Christ. We see this in the writings of Paul where he says that the basis of the gifts of ministry given by God are for the purpose of bringing the people of the Lord to the fulness of the stature of Jesus Christ.
Thus the ministers of the Lord and of the church have a responsibility to teach the people. They do not have the right to use and abuse them. They do not have the right to extort money and property from them, nor the right to have people look up to them as though they are something great. We are to praise God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the object of our worship. And yet some men in places of power in the churches seem to have themselves set up on pedestals as though they were something special. This is not what the Lord wants of his ministers.
In this section of scripture we see that his ministers are given authority so they can serve, not be served. They are to feed the flock in their charge so they will grow and mature. Those ministers who do this will receive the blessings of the Lord. But those who abuse the power given them will be banished from the Lord’s presence and will suffer loss.
This is a timely warning, especially in the present time when there are many abusive teachings in the church. Wealth and power ministry are not of God and these things take away the truth of the gospel. The focus of the ministers must return to the truth of the gospel and not focus on the things of the world. Wealth ministry is about the things of the world. But the truth of the gospel is about freedom, peace, love and joy in the holy spirit. These are the things of God and need to be emphasised in the ministry to the church. In addition the ministers need to teach how to achieve these things and how to apply them in their life. The ministers need to be an example to the people as Jesus, Paul and the apostles were examples to the people in their time.
If you teach the word of God, be aware that you will be judged with greatewr strictness as James wrote. Let this sink in and be a sobering thought so that you fulfill the ministry to which you were called, not for your benefit, but for the benefit of the church. Then you will receive the blessing of the Lord and not his condemnation.