The parable of Jesus about the servants who were given different sums according to their ability, was an illustration to enlighten the believer. We find this parable in Matthew 25:14-30.
In Jesus’ parable, there were three servants who looked faithful and hardworking at the time their master gave them this task, but we see the truth at the end of the day. The parable was not about testing their loyalty, but their faithfulness and diligence to the master.
How does this teach us to be faithful to God today, even as we are already loyal to Him? Is there a level of faithfulness we need to attain in service to God?
Seeing the parable, we understand that:
- The master was wealthy;
- He gave liberally, willing to test them and give them a chance to impress him and be rewarded for it;
- He trusted his servants with his wealth;
- He was just; he rewarded the faithful but punished the unfaithful.
Now, Jesus began this parable like this:
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.”
- Matthew 25:14 ESV
This parable was also about the coming of the Son of man, just as the parable of the ten virgins before it. This whole chapter starts like this, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like…” (Matthew 25:1 ESV).
Jesus was speaking about the kingdom of heaven. And who are the citizens? We the believers are, so this was speaking to us.
It means that while we are “servants” already, there is still much expected from us by God the “Master” who gives the “talents”.
God has given to us variously according to our abilities, just as this master in the parable. We are therefore, expected to be faithful and not slothful with the work that is given into our hands.
The first and second servants were rewarded not only with words, but with more estate to manage. (Matthew 25:20-23).
Let us draw lessons from these two before moving on to the third, so we would understand the master’s anger better.
This test or assignment was supposed to prove a number of things from the servants:
- Their loyalty;
- Their stewardship;
- Their ability at work.
It would be embarrassing for the servants of this business man to flop on the issue of investing, because not only was it shameful, but also disappointing. This master was a business man, and expected that his servants should have learnt a thing or two about business from him. So, his anger in this disappointment would be founded, because it would mean they didn’t learn anything from him, assuming they failed.
Now, as believers, this is the same character of God towards us. We have been given gifts and abilities by the Spirit as He wills:
“All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
- 1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV
When we read from the first verse of 1 Corinthians 12, we learn that there are different “talents” that the Spirit has given to the church for the building of it. So, if anyone fails to invest these gifts and multiply them in their service to God, there will be a question to be answered. Why? Because Jesus said:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
- John 14:12 ESV
God expects believers to do even greater than their Master did while on earth, because just like the master in the parable, we have received what it takes to make a mark.
We are to do greater than what Jesus did in His earthly ministry; greater healings, teaching, preaching, miracles, etc. This is the will of God. The doubling of the talents translates to us bearing fruits in every good work we have been given.
So, we understand now why the master was so furious with the one who did not do according to his will. The will of God is for us to use what He has given us to make more disciples and bring the lost into His kingdom in their numbers. We are not in the business of buying and selling earthly materials, but have been called into the business of winning souls and saving men from the clutches of death.
It is important to God that men be saved, this is the mandate He has given. (Matthew 28:19-20).
Get up and begin to use the gifts that God has given you. He expects so much from you in partnership with His Spirit that has been given you.
“For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
- Matthew 25:29-30 ESV
For it is a grave sin against God that you do not use what is entrusted to you.