Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Matthew 25:15-28: Investing in Jesus Christ

Matthew 25:15-28 (ESV): Investing in Christ
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And 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.’ His 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.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His 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.’
He 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, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! …
Comment:
This past week, I attended my church’s Lenten retreat. There, a guest speaker discussed the above parable, and what he said struck a familiar chord.  What would “the master” have said if the servants’ talent investments would have bore no immediate return? The answer he gave, and the one to which I agree, was “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Yes, God appreciates when we witness and touch others’ lives for His sake, even if we are persecuted and bereft of all we give.  
The speaker, furthermore, told a story about his mother who recently passed.  He mentioned her constant love toward others and faith in Christ, even in the midst of suffering and facing her own mental and physical death (she suffered from dementia).  During her life, his mother, moreover, never saw her “return,” but everyone who approached him at her wake and funeral had a story to tell about the difference she made in their lives -- in how they became more loving people, deeper in their faith, and better witnesses to Christ.
We are called to invest our “talents” in Christ no matter the return.  We cannot be like the unfaithful servant who states, “I knew you to be a hard man... so I was afraid.” God will provide in the midst of our fears, even if we cannot see it at the time. Let us invest ourselves in the rich ministries God gives us daily as parents, spouses, teachers, and neighbors.