19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
We learn later that the 1 bag servant hoards his gold, is scolded and sent away. As I read this again, I was struck by the first two servants. They were each given a level of responsibility, possibly based on their capacity and ability. Let's do the math:
Servant 1 5 talents given + 5 talents earned = 10 talents
Servant 2 2 talents given + 2 talents earned = 4 talents
What they produced was equal to what they were given.
Each servant was faithful, yet the reward was not what would be expected in today's society. What was the reward for doing a good job?
I think what we expect today is a payday, a vacation, an incentive. This is not the way of Jesus. What was His reward for faithfulness? The RESPONSIBILITY of bearing the sins of the world on a cross. If we faithfully invest our lives in building God's Kingdom, the expectation we should have is MORE WORK. If we remember that earlier in Matthew 9, Jesus said: "the harvest is great, but the workers are few." This is no excuse for workaholism, but it is a reminder of our calling. Living things produce fruit. So should our lives.
I want to be a 5 + 5 kind of Christian. I want my life to produce shock waves for God's glory. I pray that my family, those I serve alongside, and our entire church will have lives of incredible impact for Jesus.