Of all the commands in the New Testament, this is the easiest to obey: “Enter into the joy of your master.” Although this is the conclusion to the parable of the talents, it is the hope of all believers to hear these words as they enter God’s paradise.
Being a slave in the first century was a thankless task. Jesus said, “Does [the slave master] thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not” (Luke 17:9).
A slave owner may have noticed competence and diligence and might have rewarded a slave (as in Matt 24:46) or perhaps given him greater responsibility (Matt 24:47), but to praise a slave was rare—-but not so with God.
In this parable, the “master,” or owner, is away for an indefinite period, implying that his return will not be immediate (Luke 19:11). Upon returning, he would determine which of his slaves were faithful and had been useful for his purposes.
Jesus implied that His return soon, for that would quench their motivation for zeal and long–term planning for global evangelization. Jesus expected them to begin a strategy and make it happen, and He would not return until they finished the task of getting the gospel to every language and culture on earth (Matt 24:14).
According to the parable, the master’s return would be sudden and unexpected. Just as in the parable, Christ will evaluate every servant according to what and how he has contributed to the main purpose of the church: making disciples in every people group on earth (Matt 28:19–-20). He only told them what to do, not how to do it.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Tim. 4:7–-8).
Our Master will honor those who took the initiative to fulfill His desire to tell everyone what He has done and how great He is. As the hymn says, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!” (hymn by Esther K. Rusthoi).
“Lord, Thank You for gifting me and investing so much in me; my life now only finds meaning in living for Your kingdom and the purpose of making You known in this world.”
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