Matthew 25:14a, 15, 19-23 - [Jesus said] "For it will be like a man ... who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two ... each according to his ability. Then he went away. ... 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.'"
It bugs me a bit that the master in this story gives the two good servants unequal amounts. Why? Is that fair? Especially when the master represents God giving gifts to His people?
Well, no. But then, I know that in the real world, employers do this all the time. They give one worker more responsibility and resources than another.
And it's clear that God, too, doesn't treat us equally. To one person He gives a sharp mind and education, and to another He gives strength and dexterity, and work that uses those gifts. To others He may seem to give very few gifts indeed—for example, a person who is very disabled from birth. Is it wrong of God to handle things this way?
The temptation is to answer "Yes!" We think of the world as a contest, and we want to see everyone start with the same advantages. But what if it's not a contest? What if instead this is God creating and growing a body—the body of Christ?
In that case, it makes sense for Him to give different resources to different "organs" in the body. The heart and the liver don't need the calcium that the bones need. By giving each Christian what they need to do their individual job, God blesses the whole body of Christ—and the world. No one succeeds alone and no one fails alone; and we all seek the same goal. We want to hear Jesus say, "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!"
There is equality in the body of Christ—but it's not what we start with. No, it's what we end with—the loving praise of our Savior who died for our sakes and who rose again to make us His forever. Every one of us who trusts in Him is a part of His body and will hear His words of welcome and praise. And we will live with Him forever in joy.
WE PRAY: Lord, let me hear those wonderful words from You when I see You face to face. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What do you think is your own function in the body of Christ right now?
2. What has God given you to do your work?
3. Jesus promises to put His faithful servants in charge of "much" in the future. What kind of work do you imagine we might do for Him in His kingdom?
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