16 Jul Faithful in the Little Things
July 16, 2015
Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
In our study of Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we come to the third truth in this passage. We will be judged according to the use of our opportunities.
Starting in verse 19, we see what happens when the master returns from his journey. “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.” I think in this verse Jesus was giving a hint about the timing of His Second Coming. You see, the disciples believed that the Lord was going to return in their lifetime. So Jesus was giving them a hint that He was going to be away longer than they thought.
Jesus Christ has been gone from the earth about two thousand years. But He is coming back again, and He is going to settle accounts. That makes sense when you think about it. Not all sins get punished in this life. Not all good deeds get rewarded in this life. It only makes sense that there will be a day of judgment, a day of reckoning, a day of settling accounts.
The Bible teaches that there are two judgments. There is the judgment for unbelievers, who will be sent to hell because they never trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior. But there is a judgment for Christians as well—a judgment of rewards. This is the judgment Jesus is talking about. “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’” (vv. 20–23).
Notice that these first two slaves did not return the same amount of talents, but they returned the same percentage of profit. They both doubled what they had been given. The issue in life is not, What has God given to us? The issue is, What have we done with what God has entrusted to us?
And here we come upon a surprise. The master says to His servants, “Because you have been faithful in a few things, now I’m ready to give you many things.” When the master left on his journey, he didn’t divide all of his wealth among those slaves. Apparently he only gave them a sliver of his wealth. He only gave them a little bit to manage as a test to see if they could be counted on. Since they proved themselves to be faithful in the few things entrusted to them, the master says, “I know I can trust you. I’m ready to give you management over many things.”
God says the same thing to us. Our brief years on earth are important because they test our faithfulness to God. Perhaps of all the things God tests our faithfulness with—at the top of His list—is how we handle the money entrusted to us. What are you doing with the money God has entrusted to you? Jesus says, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?” (Luke 16:10–11).
In the parable of the talents, Jesus teaches that if you are faithful in little things, then one day God will entrust true riches to you. Are you faithful in how you use your time? Are you faithful in how you use your gifts? What you do with your life will impact eternity. The master says to his slaves, “Because you have been faithful in these few things, now I will entrust to you many things.” And God says to us, “If you are faithful to use what I have given you, someday I will give you great riches and responsibility for all eternity.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Talent Search,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.