Day Thirty-five: Friday, July 24th, 2020
Bible Lesson: Matthew 25:1-30
Reflection from Pastor Wayne Eberly:
With the parable Jesus tells in Matthew 25 about the servants who are entrusted with different amounts of wealth, we are presented with a most pleasant possibility. People who are entrusted by God with the good gifts of life might just get it right. People entrusted by God with the good gifts of life might just learn to be faithful with what has been entrusted. People who are entrusted by God with the good gifts of life might hear their Master, their Lord, their God, their Savior Jesus Christ say these precious words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Today I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the faithful servants God has placed in the path of your life. The author of Hebrews sets a good example for how we can remember the faithful. After reminding the reader at the end of Hebrews chapter 10 that the “righteous will live by faith”, the author then spends the whole of chapter 11 remembering righteous ones who did live by faith. Beginning with Abel and Enoch we move to Noah and Abraham and Sarah, down through Isaac and Joseph and Moses…and on and on and on. Name after name comes to mind to the author.
I hope you will take some time today to make your own list. Read the two parables before us in Matthew 25:1-30, and then let that phrase linger in your mind. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Can you see a face of one who modeled faithful living for you? Can you hear their voice? Which of their actions come to mind? What attitudes did they display? What was the quality of their character? How did they bring faith to life in their words and deeds? How did they demonstrate the faith they had in Jesus Christ?
My guess is you will be like the author of Hebrews. You will not only have one or two names come to mind. My guess is that if you take time, if you linger with the thought, “Who has modeled faithful living to me?” you will find yourself taking a wonderful journey down memory lane.
But let me ask you to take this exercise in remembering the faithful to the next level. Hebrews does not end with chapter 11. Hebrews does not come to an end by remembering the faithful. After a long and satisfying chapter that celebrates and honors and remembers the faithful who have gone before us, the author makes an important move. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and entangles us. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1,2)
As you hear Jesus saying those coveted words, “Well done…” ask yourself what it would mean for you to live that kind of a faithful life. And then let us run together the race set before us, the race that the righteous live, the righteous who are learning to live by faith.
“The parable of the Talents must be understood against its eschatological horizon. The parable
sets for positive and negative examples of conduct while awaiting the return of the Lord. Not to be overlooked is the characterization of the master: as one who bestows gifts abundantly, carefully calibrates gifts on the basis of ability, gives his slaves freedom to respond with loving
responsibility, and rejoices in their fidelity. While the parable initially intimates that the talents bestowed are external to the recipients (i.e., only to be managed by them), the detail in verse 29—‘to all who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance’— suggests that the talents do, in fact, enrich the recipients. The parable’s ending warns of the tragedy of acting timidly in response to God’s generosity.” (Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, Feasting on the Word, Year A, volume 4, p. 313)