Finding Faithfulness

Posted: April 9, 2013 in Matthew

Matthew 25:14-30, “Finding Faithfulness”

Some things can be rather hard to find today. Faithfulness is another. Be it on the job, or just even among families, faithfulness is a rare find.  God calls us to be faithful. More than that, God calls us to be faithful in our service to Him.

It would be easy to look at the parable of the talents as a simple morality lesson about faithfulness. Indeed, that’s the way it’s often taught. However, the parable of the talents comes within a very specific context that we cannot forget: the Olivet Discourse. Jesus has been teaching about the end times and the Great Tribulation.  After proclaiming the desolation of Jerusalem and coming destruction of the temple, the disciples asked Jesus when these things would be, and what would be sign of Jesus’ coming & the end of the age.  Jesus proceeded to teach them about the beginnings of the end – the sign of the abomination of desolation – the period of the Great Tribulation in which all the population of the earth was in danger of being destroyed.

More specifically, Jesus has been teaching about His 2nd coming. It would be incredibly glorious, and it would be the event to bring an end to the Great Tribulation.  Those who are believers in Christ during the days of the Tribulation are to watch and be wise.  They are to watch the seasons of the day, and be prepared to be saved as Noah was saved.  They are to endure those days, ensuring they are ready at any time to see their Lord come in grand deliverance.

That’s all to the believers of the Tribulation, but that’s not to say that Jesus doesn’t teach us anything here. Virtually every principle He gives to the Tribulation believer about the second coming can apply to the present day Church about the rapture. We live with the understanding that our Lord Jesus could literally call us home at any moment, so we need to be ready at all times.  We watch for Him in patient endurance, but we don’t sit back on our heels, either.  We are active in the things Jesus has called us to be active in while we wait for the call of our Lord.

But the idea of the second coming is what is in the background as Jesus gives the parable of the talents. What does the Lord desire for His people as they await the end of the tribulation and the second coming of Christ? Faithfulness!  There will be some who are truly believers, and they will be found faithful by our Lord. There will be others who show themselves to be unbelievers by their faithlessness to Him.

Although this is primarily directed to a certain set of believers in a certain age, there is still much application to believers today. We have a Master who has entrusted us with certain responsibilities, and His desire is that we would be found faithful.  When we truly know the goodness of our Master, and understand what awaits us at His coming, then His desire for us will be our desire as well.  We will want to be those who are found faithful.  We want to hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Matthew 25:14–30
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

  1. The words "kingdom of heaven" are not actually in the text, but they are assumed by the translators to help bring out the overall context. The previous parable was specifically labeled by Jesus as a lesson on the kingdom of heaven, and the context never really changes. Jesus could almost be considered giving the same lesson, only from a different point of view. Ch 24 ended with a parable about a faithful and wise servant in comparison to an evil one. As a follow up, Jesus told a parable about wise bridesmaids (virgins); now He teaches about faithfulness.
  2. Jesus sets the background for the parable. This would not have been considered unusual then.  When wealthy landowners would go on business trips, they would entrust their goods to their servants for care & continued profits.  It’s not really all that unusual today. Any business owner today hires workers for the specific purpose of making financial profit.  That profit is supposed to continue whether or not the business owner is actually in the building or not.  That’s really the picture that Jesus is painting here.
  3. At the same time, these are not employees.  “Servants” = δουλος. This isn’t a reference to a hired hand, but a slave.  This is a bit foreign to us today, though it certainly was not at the time.  What Jesus described was not necessarily a cruel system of punishment (as we might know from the American experience), but an accepted reality of the day of how the culture worked.  The main idea is that these people did not really have the choice of whether or not to serve their master, so they could either do it with joy or without.

15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

  1. We use the word "talent" differently than the use here. This is not referring to a skill or other ability (I.e. musical talent, athletic talent, etc.); this is a reference to money. There are different ideas of exactly how much a talent is worth, generally ranging from somewhere of 58-100 pounds of precious metal (be it gold, silver, or bronze).  Eventually there was a specific amount of money that was called a “talent,” and it represented 6000 denarii (days’ wages). What exactly the talent was in the parable is left unsaid by Jesus, though there is a hint that it was silver, which is the word used for “money” in vs. 18.  Of course Jesus isn’t so much trying to describe a specific amount of money, but rather give the idea that they had been entrusted with much.  This would be thousands upon thousands of dollars in today’s equivalent prices.
  2. Each servant received something from the master. They had all been entrusted with something valuable. Keep in mind, the fact that one of the servants only received one talent doesn’t mean that he received barely anything of value.  We tend to be so familiar with this parable that we think that the last servant wasn’t trusted with much, but a talent (of gold, silver, etc) is still huge! This was still a financial fortune in the day.  Even the least of the servants was entrusted with much responsibility.  He was given an equal opportunity to be used by his master, even if his money was not as much as the other two. 
  3. Obviously not every servant received the same, but this is not a disparity of equality; it is a demonstration of the knowledge of the master. He knew his servants well enough to know what each one was capable of. He did not set up his servants to fail, but to succeed.
    1. How important this is to realize about God!  God knows us far better than we know ourselves.  He fully knows what we are capable of, and He knows how He desires to use us for His glory.  To be sure, our idea of success might be totally different than what God’s idea is for us (sometimes suffering is exactly what God has in mind for us, as Paul found out – Acts 9:16), but our God equips us with what we need to succeed for Him & His glory.  God does not put us in a situation in order that we would fail, but rather that we would succeed.  We need to trust that our God has given us exactly what it is that we need to do what He desires us to do.

16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

  1. The success of the first two servants. Each was able to double the money entrusted to him. Exactly how they did it is not said, and it’s not really the point. Obviously they engaged in some sort of business practice, in keeping with the parable story, but the point is they were active. They understood that their master had given them this money for them to do something with it and they did not waste their time.
  2. Question: would they have had to double their money in order for them to have been successful? Doubtful. They obviously did double their money, but Jesus is really just showing their increase, with the assumption that they had acted in wisdom and been blessed by the Lord because of it.

18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

  1. The actions of the last servant. He did nothing.  He took his master’s money, found what he believed was a safe hiding place, dug up a hole & put the money there.  Imagine your boss handing you a check of $30,000, and telling you to go invest it.  Instead you take it and hide it under your mattress.  That would seem unthinkable!  And yet, that’s what happens here in the parable.  The last servant took something of extreme value & trust, and did absolutely nothing with it.
  2. Actually, he did worse than nothing. By hiding it in the ground, he showed that he despised his master and did not regard his master’s trust.  Some have suggested the hiding shows his lack of faith that his master was coming again, thinking that once his master was thought to be dead that he could claim the money for himself.  Yet from Jesus’ later explanation of the servant’s fear, that seems unlikely.  It seems that he did indeed believe his master was coming, but he neither wanted to be blamed for a loss if he failed, nor give over the profit if he succeeded.  He didn’t care about the master’s wishes and he wanted nothing to do with the master’s money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

  1. Eventually the master returned and settled up.  So far, the parable is proceeding exactly according to expectations.  If the master has left, the whole expectation is that he will return and see what his servants did with his money.  Everyone knew that a day of reckoning would eventually come, and that’s exactly what happened.  It wasn’t something to fear; it just was the reality of being a servant of the master.
    1. This is the first time in the Olivet Discourse that Jesus has mentioned the idea of a day of reckoning, or a judgment.  He has taught in great detail about the fact that the Son of Man will be coming again in great power and great glory to end the days of the Tribulation and to gather His people to Himself.  He has taught about a punishment that awaits those who are unprepared for His coming.  But Jesus hasn’t really addressed the idea of judgment until now.  What He introduces here will be picked up in great detail in the final parable of the Olivet Discourse: the judgment between the sheep and the goats.
  2. It’s interesting that Jesus described this taking place after "a long time." Keeping in mind that the overall background of this parable is describing His 2nd coming and the believers of the time of the Great Tribulation, this might not seem very long.  After all, the Tribulation will only last 7 years (though it will surely seem to be a long 7 years!).  Perhaps Jesus is alluding to a bit of the wait that we currently experience in the Church Age.  The parable began with the idea of the master leaving his servants, and Jesus’ “leaving” happened a long time ago – over 2000 years ago, when He ascended to the Father.  Jesus is returning somewhat to call the Church home in the rapture, but He doesn’t actually return to the earth in any way.  He will simply blow a trumpet & we will rise to meet Him in the air.  So we can’t really start counting the time of His leaving in the parable from the rapture – we need to go all the way back to His ascension.  It has indeed been a long time since He ascended to the Father… But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Jesus will not return. Our Lord Jesus IS coming!

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

  1. The account of the first servant.  He had done quite well for himself, doubling his master’s money, and he now had the opportunity to present it before his lord. 
  2. What joyous praise from the master!  There could have been no other words that the servant desired to hear more from his lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  The master saw the works of his servant, and he was pleased & showered the servant with praise, inviting him to enjoy greater fellowship with the master than anything he had previously received.  Culturally, the “joy of your lord” might be a reference to a feast that would have been given to celebrate the master’s return.  This servant would have been invited to join in the celebrations.
    1. What wonderful words all of us wait to hear!  Despite the fact that this parable is spoken about Jesus’ 2nd Coming, surely all those who have faith in Christ have the opportunity to hear these same words from Jesus at the time we see our Lord face to face.  One day we will see our glorious Master, and we long to hear the same words spoken to the faithful slaves here in this parable: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  We have no right to be called “good,” save by the grace given us by Christ.  We have no ability to be called “faithful,” save by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  Even so, we desire to be found faithful in the sight of our Lord and bring pleasure to Him through our service in what He has given us.
    2. Do you look forward to the day that you will enter into the joy of Jesus?  Are you looking forward with anticipation to the day of reckoning?  You can tell a lot about a person’s relationship with Christ, based on how they respond to the idea of seeing Him face to face.  …  Christian, if there’s something in your life that you need to deal with in order to be free of guilt as you look forward to the Lord, then get rid of it.  Forsake sin, and live with the purpose in mind that you will one day look upon your Savior with your own eyes.
  3. Faithful in few; ruler over many. Be careful not to get the wrong idea here.  We might look at this & think that the slave had previously served, but now would no longer serve but rule over an area given him by the master.  That might misread both extremes.  Obviously the servant was a slave of the master, but he had been entrusted with quite a bit from the beginning.  He had been given thousands upon thousands of dollars & basically started a profitable business for his master.  Certainly he had already been a “ruler” in that sense of the word.  At the same time, the master is not releasing his servant from serving him.  Obviously the master is still the lord of the servant (though a good & loving lord), and that relationship will continue & even increase into the future.  “Ruler” is not the specific word used, but it is part and parcel with what is said by the master.  It might also be translated, “Well done, you servant good and faithful.  Over a few you have been faithful, I will set you over many.”  The idea is that the master appoints the servant to something greater, giving him an exalted position and more responsibility.
    1. This implies something very important about eternity. Heaven is not a place where we sit on clouds, playing harps while wearing diapers. (That doesn’t sound very heavenly, in any case!). There will be responsibilities given to us by the Lord.  What they are specifically, we’re not told.  Generally, we’re told that we will share in the inheritance of Christ (heir of God, Gal 4:7), and Paul tells us that we will judge angels (1 Cor 6:3).  So there will be some important responsibilities entrusted to us during the years of the kingdom and beyond. 
    2. And this is a good thing!  To sit around for eon after eon doing nothing does not sound like paradise – it sounds like boredom.  Today, work is only hard and laborious because of the curse (it was part of what Adam incurred for himself when he sinned).  But the curse is forever removed at the cross of Jesus, which we will see in the Millennium & in eternity.  At that point, the work we do for the Lord will be work as it was always intended: joyful service to the glory of our King.  We will do what we were created to do in giving glory to our Creator God.  That doesn’t really sound much like “work” at all, and it certainly won’t be boring!

22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

  1. The accounting of the second servant.  He did virtually the exact same thing as the first servant, only with a smaller amount of money at the start.
  2. It was a smaller return, but was it less valuable to the master? Absolutely not! He received the same praise as the first servant.  The words from the master do not change one iota.  The second servant brought the master just as much joy as the first, and the master gave him just as much praise at the day of reckoning.
    1. All of us are valuable to the Lord!  We sometimes get the idea that certain Christians with more responsibility and greater visibility are somehow “special” in the eyes of the Lord, and set on a tier above everyone else.  We think, “Billy Graham will really be beloved by the Lord, but Jesus might not really notice what I’ve done.”  One thing that this parable makes abundantly clear is that God sees our faithfulness far above everything else.  Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart.  We look at certain Christian celebrities & think that God will really reward the people who have had extremely visible ministries, but won’t do the same for the folks who have served the Lord in quieter ways.  Sure He loves them, but not as much as the visible folks.  Not true!  Whether 5 talents or 2 talents, the master bestowed the exact same praise.  Whether a visible ministry, or a lifetime of quiet service, the Lord sees the hearts of those who are faithful to Him, and He will bestow glorious praise upon each.
    2. In fact, it’s quite possible many of us will be surprised on that day of judgment as it is revealed who had been faithful & who had not.  Some of the people with the huge visible ministries might be revealed to have already received their reward because they sought the praise of men rather than the praise of God.  There will be people who served the Lord far from the spotlight who will receive much greater praise.  Maybe they cared for the homeless or bed-ridden elderly – maybe they spent daily hours upon their knees in prayer for missionaries – maybe they cleaned buildings and did all sorts of “little” things, but they did it in worship of their Lord Jesus.  They can still look forward to hearing the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!
  3. All of this talk about a day of reckoning might seem unusual when speaking about believers.  After all, as believers in Jesus Christ, our eternal salvation is not based on anything that we have done – it is based upon the work of Jesus Christ at the cross & in the resurrection.  If our salvation was at all dependent upon our own works, we’d ALL fail!  How is it then, that these servants (who are obviously representative of believers in Christ) judged by their master for the works that they have done?  Simple: this is speaking of a different judgment.  Although the judgment for our sin was resolved at the cross, there is indeed a judgment for those who have faith in Christ, and that judgment IS based upon our works.  How we handle the things He gives us to do today will go a long way to determining our future reward. 2 Corinthians 5:9–10, "(9) Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. (10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." []  Paul writes clearly that at this judgment, Christians will be judged for the things we have done.  What we as believers do, matters.

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

  1. The accounting of the third servant. This isn’t pretty!  He had hid his talent in the ground, and now comes before his master making excuses.  Whether he had witnessed the reckoning between the master and the first two servants isn’t said, but it’s clear that he knew that he had not done his master’s will and he has certain excuses in mind.
  2. Of course if he’s trying to stay out of trouble, he doesn’t do a very good job at it!  Notice how he insults his master. Granted, if we hadn’t seen anything from the master at this point in the parable, we might be inclined to believe the servant. Yet this master has been anything but "hard." He knew his servants well enough to know what they were capable of. He entrusted them with no small amount of money. He gave praise and reward to those who did well. This is a gracious master! The final servant’s description of the master demonstrates that he doesn’t really know the master at all.  He may have been a servant of the master, but he did not love the master, nor did he know anything about the master’s character and nature.
    1. By virtue of the fact that people are living and breathing, every single human being is supposed to be a servant of God.  After call, creatures are supposed to serve their Creator.  (This is one of the reasons that sin is so easily categorized as “rebellion” – people rebel against their rightful Master.)  Yet obviously, not everyone knows the Lord God.  There are even many people who carry the label “Christian” that know nothing about the God they supposedly worship.  They believe Him to be hard & uncaring.  They believe Him to be unfair and cruel.  Oh, they’ll say they are a Christian because they know they aren’t Hindu or Buddhist or anything else, but the reality is that they do not know the real living Lord Jesus Christ at all, despite the label they cling for themselves.
    2. It doesn’t matter what we call ourselves if we do not know Jesus.  And we CAN know Him – that’s what the resurrection proves!  He is alive, and He can be known, just like any real person can be known.  Do you know Jesus?  Do you know Him in a real relationship, in which you can know His character & nature?  Do not wait until the day of judgment to come to grips with the fact that you’ve never truly known Him as the Living God!
  3. The servant did not know the master that he was supposed to serve, so what did he do? He acted upon his fear, and he sinned. This was no mere absence of activity; this was active rebellion. He stole future profits from his master when he deliberately ignored what was expected of him.  Giving back to the master what was originally his was not the master’s intent. If that’s what pleased the master, he would never have given it out in the first place. He could have just as easily kept it and taken it with him on his journey. The whole reason for giving it out was because he desired it to be used wisely and actively.  This servant knew what he did was wrong – he knew it was rebellion – and he did it anyway.

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

  1. The chastisement by the master. He doesn’t mince words, nor should he.  Whereas the previous two servants had been found “good and faithful,” this last servant was “wicked and lazy.”  The servant’s laziness was his wickedness.  He did not do the work that the other servants had done in order to bring increase to the investment.  He had done as little as possible in order not to lose money, but in doing so he had completely rebelled against his master’s clear wishes for him.  Again, he robbed future profits from the master, and this in itself was sin.  What could have been gained was still lost – and this was a direct fault of this wicked servant.
  2. Notice the master doesn’t debate the servant on what the servant thought of him. He doesn’t repeat the charge of being “hard,” but he does repeat what the servant said about reaping & gathering.  This was really an accusation about the master being unscrupulous.  The servant basically accused the master of being willing to do anything to make a buck.  It didn’t matter if a particular harvest was on his land or not, supposedly the master would have claimed it for himself anyway.  This was a particularly harsh characterization, but the master doesn’t argue it.  That doesn’t make the servant’s assessment of the master true; it just underscores the error of his ways. The servant is convicted by the weight of his own words.  After all, if that is what the servant thought of his master, then he has absolutely no excuse for doing what he did. He cannot claim ignorance, thinking that maybe he could get by.  If the master really WAS harsh & cruel, why wouldn’t the servant to everything possible to at least make SOME money?  The master didn’t need to defend himself to his servant (he is the master, after all); he just used the words of the servant to show him his own rebellion and wickedness.
    1. This is what will happen with many who stand before Jesus on judgment day.  They will see God in all of His glory, and they will still be shaking their fists in rebellion against Him – and they will be convicted by the weight of their own words.
    2. It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “When I see God on judgment day (if there is a God), then I’m going to demand answers to my questions.  He’s going to have to tell me ____!”  It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.  There is no one who is going to be able to demand anything of God.  He is GOD.  When people think that way, what they’re really acknowledging is the fact that they know they’ve sinned against God, but they don’t really want to answer for it.  They want God to answer for the ways that they believe He has done wrong against them.  God does not have to answer that charge for it to be untrue – God is perfect, and He has never done wrong against anyone, nor does He answer to us.  God is God & we’re not.  The right response when we understand that we will be judged by God is not continued rebellion, but humble repentance and appeal to the mercy & grace of Christ.
  3. Note also that the master wasn’t demanding that everyone double their money. He just wanted something done with it. A little was better than nothing.  Just to leave the money with the bankers to collect interest would have at least showed a bit of faithfulness to the command the servant had been given, and it would have required no more work than burying the money in the ground.  What the servant did was show he did not want the master to have any increase in profit.  He did as little as possible to ensure the master received as little as possible.  Again, it shows an active act of rebellion against the master.

28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

  1. First judgment against the servant: loss of opportunity.  What he had was taken from him and given to another.  He had been given an equal opportunity to serve his master and to receive the blessings of his master, but he wasted it.  Now no opportunity remained, and another would not come.  What he had was given to the most profitable servant of all.
  2. This might seem unfair, but it’s not. The third servant had already proven himself wicked. If the money had been given to the first servant, the master would likely have had his money doubled. Business-wise, this is a sound decision. He cut his losses and put his money into a proven success.
  3. Question: How does this apply in the kingdom?  This is, after all, a parable about the kingdom.  How will the things that have been taken from the false converts be given to those who have truly followed the Lord?  Will this mean a greater opportunity for fellowship with Jesus?  Does this mean that somehow the rewards originally intended for another will be given to those who were faithful?  Ultimately, Jesus doesn’t give us an interpretation here, so it’s difficult to say.  At the very least, it seems to echo a bit of what Jesus said back when He explained to the disciples why He taught in parables.  Matthew 13:11–12, "(11) He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. (12) For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." []  In that context, Jesus was showing how those who remained hard-hearted against the Lord would hear the teaching of Jesus but not understand it, while those who were humble towards the Lord and had faith in Christ would understand the mysteries of the kingdom.  It would seem that the same principle applies in reference to the kingdom itself.  Whatever opportunities to serve God will be taken away from the rebellious, while the faithful will receive more and more as they experience more and more of the Lord.

30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  1. The second judgment of the servant: loss of relationship.  Not only was the opportunity to serve his master lost forever, so was the opportunity to be with his master at all.  The first two servants entered into joy, the last servant was cast out forever into the place of outer darkness.
  2. If there was any doubt about this servant being a false convert, this ought to remove it all. He already showed that he knew nothing of the character of his master, despite the outward appearances that he served the master. Now it is shown he has no future with the master or reward from him. He doesn’t only suffer the loss of reward (which is the worst that can happen for born-again believers at the bema seat); he loses any possibility of future inclusion in the house of the master. He is forever cast out, with Jesus using the same language He commonly uses to describe hell.  It is a place of utter awfulness.  There is no joy, there is no light, but it is not nothingness.  There is a conscious awareness as there is weeping & gnashing of teeth (implying some sort of torment).  This is likely what the servant wished to avoid, but in his hatred of the master it is the very thing he ensured for himself.
    1. Hell is not a giant party.  It’s not a place of non-stop drinking & lust, or whatever.  Jesus taught much about hell, and He never once described it as a place that anyone would want to go, nor wish their worst enemy to be sent.  He did describe it as a very real place, populated by very real people.  People do go to hell, but no one has to go there.  Jesus died and rose again specifically to save us from that fate.

Conclusion:
Three servants – two were faithful, and one was not.  The two that had been faithful to their master experienced wonderful blessing; the one that was wicked experienced terrible punishment.  The choice is rather stark, but it ought to make things pretty clear.  We want to be those who are found faithful!

What has the Lord Jesus entrusted to you?  In the parable, the specific item was money, but obviously that was what Jesus used to teach the lesson.  Maybe it is money & God has blessed you immensely in financial ways.  How are you using it for the kingdom of God?  Maybe what God has given you are different kinds of opportunities.  We’ve all been given one (or several) spiritual gifts by the Lord.  He has given us these gifts for a reason: we are to use them for His glory.  Certainly we’re not to waste them either on ourselves alone or out of disuse altogether.  …  We’ve all been given many opportunities to serve our Lord Jesus.  Some opportunities might be more visible than others, but we’ve all been given something.  What are you doing with the opportunities you have?  How are you using time (which is a limited resource) for the Lord? … One of the most precious things we’ve been entrusted with is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  How have you treated the gospel?  Is it something that you’ve actively shared with those you know (or those you don’t!), hoping to see a wonderful increase and return?  Or is it something you’ve hidden away, in deliberate disobedience to Jesus’ specific command to share it with all peoples everywhere?

We want to be those who are found faithful.

The parable of the talents is not given to us by Jesus so that we can do a bunch of navel-gazing and start feeling guilty.  It’s not given us in order that we would feel a weight & burden to have to drag our feet to try to start checking off some list in how we’re serving the Lord.  It’s given to us as a gentle (but real) reminder that we are but stewards.  We are servants of the Most High God, and we have been entrusted by Him to serve.  So serve Him!  Do it joyfully, out of love for your King – but serve Him.  To date, our Lord has not returned, but He will.  Will He find faith among His disciples when He comes?

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