In reading through the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), we see the similarities of the one whom the man gave the five and two talents, respectively. Both immediately took what the owner gave them and began investing and trading, trading and investing until the owner returned. There existed an urgency in obeying the master.
But also notice, each were commended by the master upon the return, when he said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . . Enter into the joy of your master.” This joy existed at this stage because of the joy they had in serving their Master in the initial stages.
The problem with the servant who buried the one talent with which he was entrusted was because neither joy nor urgency in the Master existed. He exhibited the ‘wicked and slothful’ nature long before the verdict was handed down by the owner. “But I thought God was a God of grace,” you may say. We should never used the grace of God as leverage for disobedience . Let’s flesh this out.
But what about this: is there a parallel—is Christ ‘hard’? This depends on how you look at this. God is a God of high expectations. And what He expects is obedience. He expects His servants to follow through on His commands. The apostle Paul prayed in his letter to the Colossians that God would open a door to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Christ makes commands—these He entrusts to us. Just like the word ‘rest,’ the word ‘grace’ is misunderstood. We sometimes believe that since God is gracious, he’ll overlook disobedience. After all, everyone makes mistakes.
Don’t use God’s grace—don’t use the death of Christ on the cross that provided forgiveness of sin—as an excuse for laziness. This piggy-backs on what Scott preached last week: theology matters: he expects us to know His work and way! God being ‘hard’ does not mean he is unfair or unreasonable.
Has the joy of the Master left you? Is there unconfessed sin that is hindering fellowship with you? Are we a people where theology matters, so that we know our Master well? Do we have a fear of the future? All of these things, if not dealt with well, could expose our wicked or our wise motives that could serve as a trajectory to our destiny in hell or in heaven.
May God grant us a joyous urgency.