Good and Faithful

Written on 05/16/2023
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 25:14-23

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”

We read daily devotions to keep us in the word daily, to stay close to God and his purposes, and to challenge ourselves to be more like Christ. This parable from the book of Matthew does all three. In this parable, we are servants. God, our master, has given us many gifts (life, resources, abilities) worth a lot. The master in the parable gave talents where each talent was worth years of a servant’s wages. So each servant was given a large sum of money, just like we are given much, and was entrusted with it until his master returned. This was not unusual at the time and was deemed the safest course of action. The first two servants, knowing their master well, immediately went to work and doubled the money. The third servant, believing the master to be a hard taskmaster, hid the money.

This parable can raise a lot of questions on how we view God and how we view ourselves. Do we believe that all that we have comes from God? Or are we “self-made”, gaining everything through our own efforts? How we view that affects how generous we are and how we give toward God’s purposes. Do we believe that we are to use our gifts to advance God’s kingdom? Or are they meant for our own purposes? That can affect how we use our time and our resources.

One last question that this parable raises for me – how do we respond to an obligation or responsibility that is off in the far distance. The master was going off on a long journey and didn’t tell them when he would return. I don’t know about you but I respond best to things that need to be done right now. And yet the two servants that doubled the master’s money went out “at once” to work on this. Do we feel the time pressure to serve others that are in need right now or do we feel that we can do that later when we have more time (which never comes).

This parable relates to the parable of the faithful servant as well. In that parable, the servants were to be dressed and ready to open the door for the master when he returns. Today’s parable gives us direction on what we should be doing while the master is gone. We aren’t just to wait. We are to be using our gives. When the master returns, he says to each of the servants that doubled his money, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” This is what the master wants of his servants and what God wants from us, to be good and to be faithful. When we see God, either on his return or at our death, we want him to have seen us being good (upright, generous, caring) and faithful (full of faith, believing in him). Those are the words I want to hear from God.

How about you? Are you putting off changing to follow Jesus more because you don’t have time or seeing God seems far off so you can wait? I hope you will spend time today praying about your life and asking God to help you be his good and faithful servant.