- First, Understand What Jesus is Saying…
- Do You Want to Hear God Say, “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”?
- The Temptation to Hold on When We Need to Release
- There’s Wisdom in the Word of God
- Be a Wise and Faithful Servant | Learn from the Parable of Talents
- Be a Wise and Faithful Servant | Learn from the Parable of the Minas
- Warning for Us Today
- In Summary…
- Expect This…
In Matthew 24:45, Jesus said, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.” Who is the wise and faithful servant, and what is he doing?
First, Understand What Jesus is Saying…
In Matthew 24, Jesus talks to His disciples about His return. He tells them that the season leading up to His return will be like the “days of Noah.” This means the days will be wicked, and lawlessness will abound, just as it did in the time of Noah.
In the days of Noah, no one except Noah and His family expected or believed that a major flood was about to take place. They weren’t aware of the destruction and cleansing that would cover the world.
Likewise, Jesus describes how many will not expect or look for His return. He says, “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:43-44).
Jesus then asks the disciples who the faithful and wise servant is whom the master made ruler. He tells them that this servant is blessed when the master returns and finds him “so doing.” Jesus is saying that His followers must move forward and advance the Kingdom with diligence and authority while He is gone. And when He returns, He will find His followers…
- Being about the Master’s business
- Being watchful and ready for His return
- Being wise stewards and expecting a reward for their diligent and faithful work
This is the “so doing.”
Do You Want to Hear God Say, “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”?
As a Believer, you want to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:23). How do we receive these words?
In short, you must wisely invest what God has given you. Wise investors sow into God’s Kingdom because the harvest is abundant and eternal. They sow into the ground that bears fruit 30, 60, or 100-fold (see Mark 4:20).
Do you only do this during times of blessing and abundance? No, this is to be done in tough times as well. Give out of what you have, not out of what you don’t have.
The Temptation to Hold on When We Need to Release
When we come into a difficult season, it can be tempting to pull back on giving, holding on to what we have out of fear of not having enough. However, God’s Word helps us navigate financial management and provides wisdom on when and how to give during tough times. When we adopt God’s ways and timing when it comes to giving, He is faithful to His Word…
- “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’”—Malachi 3:10
There’s Wisdom in the Word of God
The Bible has many places for us to learn how to be wise and faithful servants and good stewards.
The parable of the talents and the parable of the minas are just two of those instances. Both teach that we are to serve Jesus (the master in the parable) after He leaves. Then, upon His return, He will reward us based on the work we do. This is not to be confused with salvation, but rather how wisely and faithfully we are about our Father’s work.
Even in tough times, we must prayerfully consider being wise investors and faithful servants for God’s Kingdom purposes.
Be a Wise and Faithful Servant | Learn from the Parable of Talents
In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of the talents. What is a talent? A talent was a measure of weight, approximately 130 pounds. One talent was a considerable amount. Though each servant had a different talent according to their ability, they each had responsibilities to wisely and faithfully serve their master with what they had available.
The Purpose of the Parable
Each of us has been given varying degrees of talents, but we are not called to focus on the amount but instead on what we are doing with them to advance the Kingdom of God. The first two servants were given a double portion because they were wise and gained more. They were rewarded for their faithfulness. But the third servant was rebuked for doing nothing with the talent (a warning for us).
The Parable Teaches How We Are Not to Operate out of Fear
The third servant said he was afraid and hid the talent, not investing or “trading.” Jesus said in Matthew 5 that we are lights in the world and cannot be hidden. We are called to let our lights shine in the darkness. We are called to give glory to our Father in Heaven. We can’t do that when we come into agreement with fear and allow it to operate in our lives. Fear makes us hide and hold on to what God says to let shine and release.
The Parable Teaches How We Are to Serve Diligently
Jesus describes a reward system for Believers. Here again, this is not about salvation but an expectation that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (see Hebrews 11:6) and are wise and faithful servants.
God is not a man that He should lie, and you can put Him into remembrance of His Word when you invest in His Kingdom.
- “‘Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.’”—Isaiah 43:26
The Parable Teaches We All Carry Different Talents and Anointings
Instead of focusing on what our talents are or how much we are given compared to another, Jesus is calling our attention to the stewardship and responsibility of them. It is not about what we have, how much we give, or what we do, but rather our hearts behind it all and our faithfulness to make something of what we are given.
We are to do great exploits for God, tapping into and connecting with His strength. (Remember, the talents belonged to the master and were given to the servants to invest wisely). The anointing, talents, wealth, and resources are given to you so that you operate in them, demonstrating your faithfulness and bringing glory to God. It is God who gave you the ability to get wealth. It is up to you to exercise that ability.
- “‘Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.’”—Daniel 11:32
- “‘And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.’”—Deuteronomy 8:18
Be a Wise and Faithful Servant | Learn from the Parable of the Minas
In Luke 19, Jesus shares the parable of the minas. What is a mina? It is a unit of currency. Jesus taught us how to be wise investors and faithful servants with the money we are given.
The Purpose of the Parable
Jesus’ purpose in the parable was to communicate that God has an assignment for His faithful servants to complete before He returns to rule on earth.
Those following Jesus at the time “thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately” (Luke 19:11). But Jesus wanted to give depth to what needed to be fulfilled before He would come to rule as King and establish His government.
Jesus used the parable to describe how citizens of His Kingdom are to…
- Be responsible with what God has provided
- Be wise investors and actually invest in God’s Kingdom (the servant who hid the mina is a warning)
- Be faithful servants and work toward God’s goals and purposes
The parable story starts with a nobleman who traveled to a far-off country to claim his crown as king. He gave his servants money and asked them to put it to work until his return.
The Parable Teaches How to Be Wise Investors
How do you put money to work? You do something with it. Luke 19:15 says that when the nobleman returned, he wanted to “… know how much every man had gained by trading.”
How do you make money gain or multiply? You become a wise investor, just as the first servant in the parable did.
- “‘Then came the first, saying, “Master, your mina has earned ten minas.” And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.”’”—Luke 19:16-17
We cannot limit God’s callings for the church to serving and preaching, although those are crucial. Therefore, be a wise investor, stewarding your money and serving in His Kingdom. This principle will result in a multiplication of blessings as described by the words “faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.”
The Parable Teaches How to Be Faithful Servants
Faith means to believe, trust, and remain loyal to the Lord even when you can’t see the fruit yet. Doubt kills faith. Paul describes faith in Hebrews 11 as an assurance of things hoped for and a conviction, or formal declaration, of things not seen.
Therefore, a faithful servant of Jesus wholeheartedly believes and loyally surrenders to Him, expecting and anticipating Him to fulfill His promises and Word completely.
In other words, if God’s Word says to trust that He will open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out blessings in Malachi 3:10…
- You believe it
- You declare it
- You obey His Word
Furthermore, in Malachi 3, God tells us how to obey—to give an offering from what we have received.
- “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try me in this… I will… pour out for you such blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it.’”—Malachi 3:10
Why do you suppose the Lord talked about biblical principles of finance? There are a number of reasons!
- To show us how to surrender our hearts to Him fully
- To reveal what it means to be a faithful servant
- To show the world that God’s ways are higher than man’s
- To give us keys to being wise investors
- To bless us
When we take a portion of what we have received and “gain by trading,” the Lord gives us more. Therefore, be a faithful servant who activates the gift, and God will multiply it. The reward of a faithful servant is more authority, more responsibility, and more trust.
What about the Subjects Who Hated the Nobleman?
Luke 19:14 says…
- “‘But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying “We will not have this man to reign over us.”’”
Note that there is a difference between the two groups of people mentioned in the parable. Some were servants, and others were citizens. This difference suggests that those who are not servants of Jesus will despise and reject doing God’s business.
The nobleman did nothing to deserve this rejection. The servants in the parable risked a cultural backlash from the citizens who did not operate according to the nobleman’s commands. Can’t the same be said today for those who faithfully operate according to God’s biblical finance principles?
When wise and faithful servants invest in God’s Kingdom work, they can be ridiculed or labeled foolish, especially if they have little to give. But God doesn’t call us to give out of what we don’t have. He calls us to give a portion of what we do have!
Remember, when you are faithful with little, you will be given more.
Those who do not serve the Lord will reject His ways and instruction. In the parable of the minas, the citizens who didn’t serve the nobleman hated the idea of “doing business” and being wise investors. Therefore, hold on to the promises of God because His ways are higher than man’s.
Why Didn’t the Third Servant Invest?
The third servant in the parable of the talents and the parable of the minas had something in common—fear. The third servant came and reported to the nobleman…
- “‘…“Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.”’”—Luke 19:20-21
Sadly, this servant looked at the nobleman through a lens of false identity. He failed to do business until the nobleman returned.
The third servant didn’t invest because he believed a lie and had a poverty mentality, that the nobleman didn’t really need or want his help. Likewise, the servant said the nobleman “did not depository… did not sow.” Again, this was a lie because the nobleman did sow. The mina came directly from him! The unfaithful servant did not recognize this. He did not recognize the privilege of being a part of the nobleman’s business.
Whatever we receive must be recognized as from the Lord. If we see it any other way, we see His instruction for being a wise investor and faithful servant as unfair or irrelevant.
Warning for Us Today
When we don’t recognize that it is the Lord who provides, we miss out on abundant blessings, and the wealth we were given will be transferred to those who will deal with it wisely.
- “‘And he said to those who stood by, “Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.” (But they said to him, “Master, he has ten minas.”) “For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”’”—Luke 19:24-26
Therefore, seek to understand your covenant relationship and identity in Christ. Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Him.
Think about these two parables and where your focus needs to shift. What outcomes do you want? Then move into alignment with that outcome.
Do you want to be…
- A faithful servant and wise investor?
- Receive authority and blessings after investing in God’s Kingdom?
- Operating out of fear and doubt or faith and expectation?
Decide today to be a wise and faithful servant and go to work according to God’s direction. Sow according to God’s calendar, when the rain falls in the spirit to nourish the grown so it receives the seeds sown.
- God to fulfill His promises
Understand that there is an element of faith—an assurance of things unseen—that accompanies the role of a servant. Hold fast to God’s promises.
- God to multiply what you sow
When you choose to be a wise and faithful servant, you can expect God to pour blessings over you and others. Anticipate the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
A Word for the Body of Christ
As the Body of Christ, we need to prepare ourselves for a transfer of wealth. The transfer of wealth comes to those who are physically and spiritually prepared.
We must teach God’s people to…
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and restore biblical finance of tithes, offerings, and giving
- Love God and each other
- Return to their Father and their biblical roots
- Grow as disciples who operate in the nine gifts of the Spirit
Are you ready to receive? Then let us move forward as faithful servants.