In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of the man who gave his servants various amounts of his wealth before he went on a journey. To one he gave five talents, another received two talents, and the third was given one. The first two invested what they had been entrusted with and presented a handsome return for their master. The third, however, buried his talent and received punishment for his lack of effort.
The third man was punished because, although he knew the master would expect something, he buried what he had been given. He made it clear that he understood that his master reaped where he had not sown. He claimed that it was his great fear that kept him from taking chances with what the master had entrusted into his care. The master saw through his excuses. He looked at that man and declared him to be wicked and lazy. The man wasn’t paralyzed by fear, he was paralyzed by laziness. He came up with an excuse that he thought would flatter his master in an attempt to camouflage the content of his character. He didn’t do anything with what his master had entrusted to him, not because he was fearful, but because he didn’t want to. It was too much bother. It was too hard. It was inconvenient. In the end, the third man lost everything because he refused to act on what he knew and he refused to use what he had been given.
There’s a sobering lesson for us today. We have been given a great treasure in the gospel. We know the truth. We have been entrusted with the singular message that can set men and women free from their sin and usher them into new life. We also know that Jesus has a set of expectations for those who choose to follow Him. He told us that he expects us to go into all the world to tell them about who Jesus is and what He has done. We know these things. There really isn’t any debate on these things. The only thing that remains in question is whether or not we will choose to do something with what we have been given. Will we act on our knowledge?
We can make excuses like the third man or we can use what we’ve been given to bring a harvest for the kingdom of God. We will not be called into question for things that we have not been given, but we will surely answer to God for how we use the gifts he has given to us. The question for us boils down to this: What will we do with what we know and with what we have been given? Don’t be the wicked and lazy servant. Do all that you can with all that you you have for as long as you can for Jesus. Then you will stand before God without regret.