Grace Lutheran Church Weekly Devotion – Matthew 25:14-30
[Jesus said:] “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For 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. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Jesus is telling the story of the kingdom of heaven. He is revealing His kingdom of grace, which begins with the Christian Church on earth. His message in this parable is clear, activity is demanded, and not simply passive faithfulness. Two of the servants were able to give their master double what he had generously entrusted to them. They were commended “Well done . . . Enter into the joy of your master” (21). Living in our Master’s joy means trusting in the God Jesus reveals rather than in the god we may imagine. The third servant imagined his master as a “hard man.” Since he did not trust the generosity of his master, the judgment the wicked servant received was according to what he believed: “. . . cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness” (cf. 28-30).
It is sad many reject Jesus’ revelation of God. Some imagine God is “hard” and brutal. Others imagine a god that is like a kindhearted grandfather, too weak to do any harm but strong enough to love us. Instead of repentance, there is tolerance. Rather than forgiveness, this god offers acceptance. Unfortunately, this imaginary god will not save.
Living in our Master’s joy means we rejoice that Jesus reveals God the Father as gracious and generous. Not as One who rules with a harsh hand but who saves by His action. In Christ Jesus, God entered our world to save us, not by becoming what we want Him to be, but by being the One we need Him to be. Our gracious God knows the eternal cost of sin and so He sent His Son to die under our eternal punishment. Jesus suffered death on the cross so the debt of every sin would be forgiven before God. God raised Him from the dead, not to tolerate sin and accept sinners as they are but that all who trust in Him alone will hear those gracious words, on the great day Christ Jesus returns in His glory to receive His own. “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . . Enter into the joy of your Master.”
May the Lord “who began [this] good work in you, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”: Amen (cf. Philippians 1:6).
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