Matthew 25:19-26 – After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. '"Master," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more." 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!" The man with the two talents also came. "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more." 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!" Then the man who had received the one talent came. "Master," he said, "I knew that you are a hard man, So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you." His master replied, "You wicked, lazy servant! Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness."
Holy Week. Jesus had just run the gauntlet with the Scribes and Pharisees attempting to entrap him, but Jesus had risen above their pettiness to shine like the sun illuminating God's word in a way no one had ever imagined possible. Jesus began to teach them about the end of the age when they reached the Mount of Olives. I imagine that Jesus sat upon one of the many rock ledges surrounding the olive grove with his back against an aged tree. The disciples gathered around him, some sharing the wall, others sat upon the ground, while others leaned against the gnarled old trees resting in the cool shade. I imagine the wind catching his hair whipping it into his eyes causing him to push it back with his hand. The gravity upon his face must have caught their attention. They had asked Jesus a simple question — one which was based upon their misconceptions concerning the Messiah and his coming reign. Their question had been, "Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" So Jesus responded with this parable about trust. The faithful stewards knew they could trust their King to be loving, gracious, and merciful. So they invested wisely, carefully, and intelligently all while watching for the return of their Master. However, the unfaithful steward did not comprehend the true character of the King. In fact, he did not truly know his King at all. Therefore he reacted from fear and not faith. He trembled instead of trusted. In this parable Jesus highlights how very much our Lord trusts us by leaving the kingdom in our hands to tend it, to enlarge it, and to improve it. But this parable highlights not only God's trust in us, but our response to God. There are only two responses. Even though there are three stewards acting for the King, there are only two responses. Either we respond with trust or we respond with fear. What will our response be?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, We would trust and not fear. Enable us to respond by being faithful stewards of Your Kingdom. For we pray in your name. Amen.