The Scriptorium

The Wise Servants

Another parable to encourage us to be wise. Matthew 25.14-23

Matthew 25: Wise and Foolish (3)

Pray Psalm 126.5, 6.
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

Sing Psalm 126.6.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
They who in tears of sorrow sow, and cast their seed on every hand,
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home, and bring the harvest of their land.

Read Matthew 25.1-23; meditate on verses 14-23.

1. With what were the servants entrusted? What were they expected to do?

2. Why did the master commend these servants?

In this parable, Jesus continued teaching on the theme of stewardship and wisdom in anticipation of the day of His return.

It’s interesting to see how much Jesus talks about His return in the light of His impending death. It shows us what He was thinking about. Dying on the cross was a necessity, but it wasn’t the end. The joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12.1, 2) was the joy of His coming Kingdom, both in time and at the end of time. Psalm 22 gives us a beautiful picture of this. We know Jesus was praying this psalm as He hanged on the cross, but that was to remind those looking on of what He was fulfilling (Ps. 22.1-21) and Himself of what lay ahead for Him (Ps. 22.21-31).

This is where Jesus wants us to be looking as well, eagerly waiting and preparing for His soon return. And this is a matter of stewardship. Like the servants in this parable, we have all been entrusted with certain skills, resources, opportunities, and the time within which to make the most of these for the Lord. He expects us to get busy and create a “return on investment” of what He has entrusted to us. Elsewhere He will say that He expects us to bear much abiding fruit from all that He has done for and entrusted to us (Jn. 15.16).

The two wise servants gave a positive account of their stewardship, and the master commended and blessed them accordingly. Notice that, while one servant created more return than the other – since he had more to begin with – still, they both received the same reward (vv. 21, 23) – “ruler over many things.” Jesus expects us to work to bring forth fruit, and what we’re able to produce will differ according to what the Lord has entrusted to us. But the reward will be the same for all: rule with King Jesus!

We need to be aware of all that the Lord has given us to serve Him. Our calling is daily to seek the progress of His Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, so that, when He returns, He will see the fruit of our labors and how that fruit has redounded to His glory.

1. What do the “talents” in this parable represent?

2. What do we have to do to make our “talents” productive?

3. What does it mean that the Lord promises faithful servants will rule with Him over many things?

What then does the master say? “Well done, good and faithful servant.” For it is good to see the neighbor’s benefit. “You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” He means by this expression, enter into the realm of all blessedness.
John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 78.2

Lord, I offer back to You all that You have entrusted to me for this day. Help me to…

Pray Psalm 126.1-5.
Today is another day to work the Lord’s field and to advance His Kingdom. Pray for grace and strength, that you might sow faithfully, even though it be through tears.

Sing Psalm 126.1-5.
Psalm 126.1-5 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
When God restored our fortunes all, we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled, made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done, Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Restore our fortunes, Lord our King! Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing who sow while yet they weep and wail.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore