We often say: when the cat’s away, the mice play . Generally, because people tend to slack off when there is no supervision. In this post we will see that faithfulness and wisdom must be an inherent value of a true steward of divine resources. If our productivity or godliness is dependent on the external presence of a control mechanism, we will end up having no part of His Kingdom.
In Matthew 24:45 Jesus asked: “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” The parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 seem to give the answer to this very important question.
The parable of the ten virgins expresses the importance of preparedness. This preparedness is an expression of their internal dedication. The oil in the lamp speaks about that part, that is hidden from the natural eyes. While the lamp is observable for the human eye. We could say that the foolish virgins were only outwardly oriented.
The correct posture that the wise have is a spiritual impartation, which happens in true communication and communion with God. This divine impartation is what makes the difference in the time of waiting. The wise have their hearts set on the bridegroom. They know Him and they are connected to Him. The foolish however clearly missed this requirement and could not be part of the celebration of the bridegroom. They only had their confession in their mouth, but not the faith in their hearts.
The parable of the talents expresses the importance of righteousness and diligence concerning the stewardship of divine resources. First of all, we must have a keen understanding of what Jesus means with talents. In the New testament a talent represented the largest unit of currency at the time.
According to New Nave’s Topical Bible, one who possessed five talents of gold or silver was a multimillionaire by today’s standards. Some calculate the talent in the parables to be equivalent to 20 years of wages for the common worker. Other scholars estimate more conservatively, valuing the New Testament talent somewhere between $1,000 to $30,000 dollars today.Fairchild, Mary. “How Heavy Was a Talent in the Bible?” Learn Religions, Oct. 9, 2019, learnreligions.com/what-is-a-talent-700699.
Jesus is making the point that He has entrusted significant valuable resources to us. What are these divine resources? What is the productivity that Jesus is looking for ?
The first observation I’d like to share is that: True faithfulness is found where there is righteousness. All servants in the parable were judged on their level of righteousness. We can define righteousness as the right relationship between God and man, wherein God leads those who are willing. We are righteous, when we obey what God says. We accept what He says and we trust in His Word, by following through with it.
What Jesus is depicting with talent is the Word of Truth. When considering the whole mission of Christ, we see that He was dedicated in revealing Truth and Grace and to teach this to His followers. He gave His life so that we could live in Truth. He also gave us this important commission to teach others all what He has taught us.
It is one thing to know that the Word of Grace and Truth is the valuable divine resource entrusted to us, but it is another thing to know how to productively steward this resource. There can only be productivity with the insight of who Christ is. It is what drives a faithful servant in the work that he does. Having this spiritual comprehension of Christ, structures the innerman and orients him towards the desire and priorities of Christ.
This is what was lacking in the one who was described as lazy and wicked! He saw His Master incorrectly and acted incorrectly and therefore produced nothing! Otherwise his master would have been happy that he had hidden the money for him, right?
The works of a faithful servant are coherent to Christ. Someone who has an insight of Christ, has received a revelation in His nature, which has shed light in his spirit. He has captured an intellectual knowledge of Him, which are confirmed in is behavior. This is someone who has received Christ and is able to hear and understand Him.
The works that Christ is looking for arebfound in the following verses: ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’Matthew 25: 34-36
BEWARE: do not to read this passage only from a natural standpoint! If we only see the natural responsibility, we would be like the foolish virgins who only have their lamp in their hand. Let’s primarily read these verses from a spiritual stance. Our dedication should be to be the image of the master! That His character flows through us so that He is seen.: Love, Mercy and Justice. We want to be as Him (we want to be one as Him and the Father).
This is eventually what drives us to fill those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:16). We want to bring the stranger who is far off, near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). We are driven to dispense the Kingdom to the poor in spirit. We are missioned to heal the broken and to deliver those who are mentally bound by doubt and fear. These are the works a good and faithful servant does. They flow from a relationship and understanding of Christ and His Word.
I learned something from a dear mother in the faith, she said this to me: “only the Lord can lead us in the paths of righteousness. It is only the Lord who can lead us in the right relationship with Him”
…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purposePhilippians 2:13
It means that the guidance of the Lord through His Spirit is available for all those who have given the Holy Spirit access to steer their will, mind, and emotions. All who are led by the Spirit are true Sons and Daughters. They will never use up the soil of God’s word vainly, but they will yield its fruit. All what they do is driven by knowledge of Him and therefore their expectation is set on Him alone