Rising Before The Dawn
Stewarding the day to day
Review: On September 11th we began this series of the Olivet Discourse with Matthew 25:1-13 which is the parable of the 10 virgins who were waiting for the groom to come. 5 were ready and 5 were not. The 5 wise ones knew this wait could take longer than expected and they prepared accordingly. Meanwhile the 5 unwise ones did not plan with a long wait in mind. In the 11th hour these unwise ones left their post to find some oil for their lamps. They were too late, and the wedding feast began without them. They were shut out. Since that sermon we have been studying Jesus’ response to two questions: When will Jerusalem be destroyed? What will be the signs of his coming and of the end of time?
Jesus has given us many signs and charges, now he turns to parables to coach us in how to watch and be ready for his return. The first parable at the end of chapter 24 cautions us on how we interrelate with others as we wait, for our words and deeds before others matter. It is for this reason that hypocrisy is despised by God. The second parable concerning the 10 virgins speaks to not presuming upon time. We don’t know when, so we must prepare accordingly. Now, he speaks to our stewardship of our lives during this time of waiting. Let’s turn to Matthew 25:14-30.
Read Matthew 25:14-30
“Again” yap- most often translated “for” but might be best translated in this case “similarly” “likewise” or “again.” It is meant to serve as a continuation of thought from the parable of the 10 virgins.
“it” – refers back to verse one “the Kingdom of Heaven” the coming of Jesus.
“Five bags of gold” - most often translated “talent” which would certainly be understood to a Jewish audience as being a bag of silver that would have weighed between 50-80lbs. Barnes NLT is most accurate on this one. Most importantly this meant to be understood as a possession of value. A single talent is a lot of money as would be a bag of gold.
It is also likely that these servants had some level of a track record with the master to determine the amount they received.
Until Jesus returns, we are entrusted with what belongs to him. (14)
- Our worldly wealth and possessions.
- Our oikos.
- Our talents and skills.
Our ability dictates how much God entrusts to us. (15)
- He is fair in his expectations as he knows our capacity.
- To whom much is given, much is expected. Luke 12:48
Good stewards move forward with confidence and without hesitation. (16)
- “At once” began to steward that which he or she was given.
- The doubling happened over time, but the investment grew each day because there was immediate stewardship of what they had been given.
Those who begin with less can be just as successful in stewardship as the more gifted. (17)
The poor steward is one who has little regard for what he or she has been given. (18)
- His hiding the bag of silver suggests he does not see it as him being given a trust.
- Jesus even hints in this parable that the poor steward struggled to even acknowledge the bag of silver as still belonging to God. (24?, 27?)
The poor steward has a low view of God. (24)
- The wealth given was not seen as a gift but as an entitlement.
- Lack of gratefulness or vision for using it to please God who had given him a trust.
Good stewards will be given more opportunity because they were faithful with less. (21, 29)
Good stewards will experience the joy of God. (21b, 23b)
- There will be mutual delight.
Poor stewards will be rejected and will not be entrusted with more from God. (28-30)
- A poor steward fails to have any value for God’s kingdom.
- Darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth becomes his reward.
Stewarding the Day to Day
- We are given a trust from God to use our money towards Kingdom things.
- Tithe is a given, but what about generosity?
- How can we bless others in a way that points them to Jesus?
- God expects us to utilize our skills and talents to serve His Kingdom work on earth.
- What you are good at came from God, and how have you used that talent to give back to him?
- How does the church benefit from what you are good at?
- How do those who need Jesus or need him more benefit from your giftedness?
- God has entrusted you with people who need Jesus or need to know Jesus more.
- There is pleasure and benefit in having them, but they are not just for your benefit.
- People are placed in our lives by God. Should God see you as one who will steward those relationships well? Being a blessing and benefit to them.
- Will those in your oikos, both believer and non-believer, know Jesus more because they have a relationship with you?
We don’t know when Christ will return, but if we steward the day to day well, we can welcome his coming joyfully.
Jesus was asked by his disciples when will he return and what will be the signs of the end. Jesus’ answer speaks to living a life of expectancy and purpose that creates joy and hope as opposed to panic and fear.