“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!’ “
(Matt. 25:23 NIV)
“Well done, good and faithful servant… come and share your master’s happiness.” How we long to hear those words one day. We like to hear approval, and appreciation for what we’ve done. Whether it came from a parent, a school teacher or an employer, we like to hear a “good job” once in a while. But in the grand scheme of things, when we come to the end of our life, what would it be like to hear those gracious words from our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.
What does it take then for us to expect to hear those words? For the answer to that, let’s go back to the parable of the talents, the occasion for this verse from Matthew. There was a man going on a journey, but before he went, he put various servants in charge of various amounts of money to take care of while he was gone. One servant thought only of himself, of not wanting to be blamed for taking a risk and losing his master’s funds, and dug a hole in the ground and hid it. The other two servants were more diligent, and took their master’s resources and immediately put them to work, yielding a good profit for their master upon his return.
Those who were commended were servants of action, of responsibility, of faithfulness and devotion. They didn’t sit around, waiting for someone else to do what needed to be done; they got busy and did it themselves. They were wise about their investments so as not to squander their master’s resources. They put to use what they had been entrusted with, and made good use of it.
The occasion of the parable of the talents was a description of the Kingdom of God. The talents or amounts of money that are entrusted to the servants are the gifts and resources that we, His bride the church, are entrusted with. What then is the work to be done in the master’s absence, but the work of building up His kingdom? Whatever the resources, gifts and abilities He has given us in His wisdom and graciousness, we are to put to work in the building up of His Kingdom so that when He returns, He is able to be pleased with the work that has been done while He was away.
If we truly want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,… come and share your Master’s happiness”, then we need to be diligent and industrious about carefully, but faithfully utilizing all the gifts, abilities and resources that He has blessed us with to be building up His kingdom. That means investing our lives into the lives of others, giving of our time and talent and effort, not in seeking our own comfort or pleasure, but in seeing lives changed and God glorified.
By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen