Faithful Over Little

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 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.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 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.’ 23 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.’ 24 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, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  - Matthew 25:14-30
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares a story of three people who a master chooses to give money to, with “talents” being the stated currency. All three of them have different amounts that come from the same master. The first two are given five and two respectively, and choose to go and invest the talents, making more in the process. The third receives one talent, hides it, and doesn’t do anything with it. Upon the master’s return, he speaks to all three of them. He praises the first two, saying “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 (Matt. 25:21,23, ESV).” The master then confronts the third about his choice to hide the master’s talent out of personal fear, rather than invest it.

The words “faithful over a little (Matt. 25:21,23 ESV)” stand out to me. To the master, it wasn’t about the amount given, but what people did in response with what he entrusted to them. He spoke to the faithfulness they demonstrated, and he confronted the third about the lack of action and hiding based on a fearful assumption. The actions of the first two indicate awareness of what would honor the way the master trusted them, compared to the third who assumed things and criticized the master out of fear.

Each and every one of us has been entrusted with ways to collaborate in building the kingdom of God, whether it be resources, our time, creativity, our talents, and skills, etc. Through this parable, Jesus is communicating the importance of not just God entrusting things to us, but that we have a choice in how to respond to that in the mutual relationship between each of us and God.

We must ask ourselves what has God entrusted to each of us, and what does it mean to be faithful to Him with what He has given to us? May our prayer be of gratitude towards God, the One who entrusts and empowers us to share His love and kingdom with everyone. May we have courage to share with our world. And may our faithfulness to God reflect the generosity, compassion, and grace God has for us.

By Katie Wagner

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