Lord, keep me diligent all day long.
Read MATTHEW 25:14–30
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. 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 two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; 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!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
a Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Tim. 4:8).
Jesus now tells another parable. The kingdom is likened to a man going on a journey—Jesus’ departure from earth. He leaves his property (his people) in the care of his servants (Christians). According to their ability, he apportions money to each; five, two or one talent (depending on our capacities). The amounts are significant: a talent was worth around twenty years’ laborers’ wages—God is a lavish giver. Some see this as a parable about money, but this would require believers to make more money to receive eternal life. Rather, it demands a general application—simply put, we use what God has given us in every sense to build his kingdom.
The story revolves around the diligent use of those talents bestowed upon each recipient. Two invest the money to make more money—freely and graciously putting their gifts to work for the kingdom. The other buries it out of fear. At the master’s return (again, the Parousia), they each give account (judgment day). The two who multiplied their gifts hear the welcome words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”(21,23). They receive more. They are invited to “enter into the joy of your master” (21,23, ESV)—eternal life. However, as ever in Matthew, there is a warning as well. The other slave hears a stern rebuke and is cast into eternal destruction. God is love, but God is also just!
The message is clear. We are all “talented” to some degree. The call of the kingdom is to take what we have been given and, as we are able, put it to work in the service of the King. Then, when the Master finally returns and reckons with each of us, we long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” We will then be welcomed into eternal joy. That’s something to work for today and every day and something to look forward to.
Imagine God crowning you while saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Be inspired. What are you holding back? Make the change. Rise. Go for it.
Lord, I understand that faithfulness with what each of us has been given is high on Your list of priorities.