THIS WEEK: Jesus’ Teaching on his 2nd Coming!
Did your parents ever leave you home alone as a teenager? When they left they gave you a list of chores they wanted to see you accomplish by time they got back. You probably calculated how long it would take you to do those chores and then pushed starting to the last minute…hoping you’d have enough time to get them done and stay out of trouble.
Disaster happened when your parents came home early!
Jesus left his disciples and us and said, “I’m coming back.” He didn’t tell us when, but he did leave us with a job to do while he was gone. The temptation will be to procrastinate or simply focus on the things we want to do, rather than investing in expanding and growing his kingdom. Jesus told a parable which teaches this point:
Matthew 25:14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “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!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “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!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The amount didn’t matter. The owner simply wanted the talents he had entrusted to his servants to be put to work. The amount of return didn’t matter. He simply wanted what he had given to each servant to be put to use.
What has Jesus given to you to put to work while we wait for him to return? He’s given you the message of grace and the Gospel you can share with family and friends. He’s given you material wealth that you can give freely and generously to the spread of the Gospel. He’s given you abilities and talents which you can use to advance the Gospel message. He’s given you time which you can spend to work and witness for him.
When Jesus returns, he desires to see that we have been productive for him. He isn’t going to compare us to others, simply expects that what he has given to us be put to use.
Don’t try to time his return and be lazy up to that point…every day take the faith, the time, the talents, the wealth he has given you and find a way to invest it for a return to God’s kingdom!
Apply: Evaluate your investments for the Lord. Perhaps this parable calls you to repent of laziness…perhaps it encourages you to expand your work for the Lord. What can you invest today to bring a return for the Lord when he returns?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for trusting me to be part of your kingdom work. Help me to be a “good and faithful servant” to bring a return for your kingdom with all that you have entrusted to me! AMEN.