A parable can be both a prophecy and a parable if uttered by a prophet and the contents come true. I do think that the FDS parable was pointing to a time in the distant future because of Matthew 24:14 which is in the same chapter. If Jesus is speaking about preaching his message to the entire world he is talking about the entirety of what his followers accomplish in the future. So, when he talks about the faithful slaves he is talking about charactistics of a future group and thereore could be considered a prophecy.
Sab, this entire thread demonstrates the downfall of communicating via parable (analogy). Some listeners will feel the need to over-interpret, or extend the analogy well past the point intended by the "teacher". Hence why over-reliance on parables and analogies is considered a sign of a poor teacher: it's an invitation for confusion (which actually MAY not be such a disadvantage, in religious teaching).
For example, Jesus earlier says in Matt 24 that the Master will return as "a thief in the night", referring ONLY to the unexpected timing of the master's return. If you're prone to over-interpret every little element of the passage (as our resident conspiracists LOVE to do, with their Illuminati stuff), you'd ask why the master feels the need to break and enter into his own property to steal from his himself? Could he be planning to engage in some insurance fraud, perhaps filing a claim for loss of theft? If so, who would the insurance company be in the analogy, in spiritual terms? And if the faithful slave confused the master with an intruder in the dark, would he be justified in killing his master, taking him for a thief? It's absolutely silly to engage in ALL such ridiculous absurd arguments, but that's EXACTLY what people do with the later passage of FDS, taking it to absurd heights to which it wasn't intended to soar.
As so many others have pointed out until they're blue in the face, a parable applies to ANYONE and EVERYONE: that's the whole POINT of a parable. Granted, Jesus seemingly offered an invitation to engage in this type of speculation when he asked,
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?"
A superficial reading might suggest that he was asking of a SPECIFIC PERSON or GROUP, as if indicating that he was "teasing" his disciples, rhetorically about to answer his own question by saying something like, "It is the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses! They're the Faithful Slave of which I speak!"
Consider that it COULDN'T be a prophecy about current events, since he frames the question that way. If he COULD tell them who it would be, then the slave would have to be known to his apostles/disciples at that time.
Instead, consider it as asking a broad question that is yet to be determined, as if asking a general question, such as "who will graduate from college in 2016?" Obviously that would be those who enroll in college, do the required work, etc. It's not predictive, but simply stating an outcome which is yet to be determined by those taking the prescribed course of action.
There is ZERO, ZILCH scriptural support for adding words and concepts to the Biblical passage (eg by creating a "slave CLASS", as if there's a hierarchy amongst the slaves, or a chain of command), a practice that is on par with errant scribes and Pharisees who added their man-made oral traditions, interpretations, and concepts into worship. Don't be one of those, as you become guilty of the same crime as the GB....
I know, The Bible is fun to play with, but don't treat it as your personal binkie, a hand puppet that you can make say what you wish it to say.
As leery as I am of posting links to Xian theology, this is reasonable reading to me:
Matthew 24:45-51 (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up )
The parable of the faithful and evil servants admonishes us to be faithful and wise in carrying out responsibilities and relationships with our fellow servants, our brothers in the body of Christ.
A faithful person is trustworthy, scrupulous, honest, upright, and truthful. Without specifically stating it, Christ is saying that we have to be keeping the first of the two great commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).
In this context "wise" means judicious, prudent, sensible, showing sound judgment. It suggests an understanding of people and situations, showing unusual discernment and judgment in dealing with them. Just as Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:6 about being self-controlled, Christ's use of "wise" indicates an exercising of restraint, using sound, practical wisdom and discretion, and acting in good sense and godly rationality. In short, Christ means exercising love. He tells us that we should be faithful in keeping the second of the two great commandments: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).
Since this parable applies to everyone, Christ admonishes us to lead in a way that unites and inspires others to be faithful. We do this by giving them the truth, a good example, and encouragement. In this way, we become wise and faithful stewards of the trust God has given us.
In these verses, Christ strongly links belief with behavior in both examples. If we believe in His return, we will not live as we would like carnally. It is as simple as that. If we really believe He will return soon, this parable shows that our belief will regulate our lives, keeping us from extremes of conduct.
This faithful attitude is opposed to that of the scornful servant, who says his master delays His coming and beats his fellows. His conduct turns for the worse as he eats and drinks with the drunkards. From the description Christ provides, the evil servant's attitude is arrogant, violent, self-indulgent, gluttonous, and hypocritical. Because he believes he has plenty of time to square his relationship with God, his conduct becomes evil.
In summary, whoever is entrusted with duties must perform them faithfully, prepared at all times to account for what he has done. The key words in this parable are faithful, wise, and ready.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Read more: http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/1105/Parable-of-Faithful-Evil-Servants.htm#ixzz24wtNJiAi