Remember, a steward is a person who owns nothing, but is entrusted with the Master’s possessions to do the will of the Master.
“To one He gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” Matthew 25:15
After Jesus tells us that every Christian is a steward, he gives us a very clear picture of what that means. Remember, a steward is a person who own nothing, but is entrusted with the Master’s possessions to do the will of the Master. So what does that look like? Well, Jesus shows us in a powerful way.
Jesus begins His story telling us about the Master, what He owns, and what He does with some of His possessions. As is often the case, the foundation behind His teaching is rooted in the absolute sovereignty of God. He illustrates this by showing us that it is the Master who decides who will get the talents and how much each will receive. God does not submit Himself to the idea of an egalitarian society. No, it is according to His good pleasure and purposes that we receive exactly what He has determined will be for our good and His glory. It is tempting to speak here to the issues of being thankful and content, but that is for another time.
For perspective, we should answer the question, “What is a talent?” If you assume that a talent was 33 kilograms of silver, today’s talent would be worth about $18,000. That is a significant amount of money. But, it is important to note that while Jesus is using money in this illustration, He is not only talking about money. Remember that Jesus owns all and He entrusts many things to us as stewards. Therefore, we must understand that all material things we possess, time, and even our bodies fall under the mantle of stewardship. Furthermore, all spiritual things have been given to us – our faith, the ongoing grace He imparts, spiritual gifts, and the very gospel itself, are things that we must steward and give an account. Truly, whatever we do must be to the glory of God.
As we think about God’s sovereignty over His disbursement of talents, we can easily apply this same truth to our abilities. The Master gave each according to His abilities. We know that we can do nothing more than what we are able to do. In the parable, God’s perfectly wise decision to entrust different amounts to stewards with varying abilities is by design. Yet, while the abilities may differ, the response to the stewardship is the same – obedience. Every Christian is a steward that has been sovereignly entrusted with the things that Jesus owns according to the abilities that Jesus has given. Our stewardship requires obedience and results that line up with our Lord’s expectations.
All of us at Faith Community Church have been blessed by the Master. He has entrusted us with an enormous amount of material wealth, varied gifts both secular and spiritual, a huge spectrum of abilities, and most importantly, a stewardship of the gospel. Because He has entrusted us with so much, it begs the question, “What will we do with it for our Master?”
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10.
Next time: The risks that the steward must take