In Mathew 24:3 the disciples of Jesus asked Him what would be signs of His coming and the end of the age. Jesus answered them and gave them what they should expect as signs before His ultimate return.
The essence of the parable was to help them to be watchful. Jesus likened His return to a man who is going on a journey and gave some bags of gold and responsibilities to the servants, and after a long time, returned and demanded accountability from the servants concerning all that he had entrusted into their hands (Mathew 25: 14:19).
After careful appraisal of the activities of the servants, the master came up with two verdicts. For one of the servants, “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Mathew 25:21). And to the other, he said, “Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mathew 25:30).
The first servant who was good and faithful received praises and approval while the second servant was condemned by the master and ordered to be cast into outer darkness.
The man who went on a journey and returned is Jesus who has ascended to Heaven. The man’s servants were the disciples of Jesus then – the past generation of Christians – and all Christians throughout history. The bags of gold are the talents, spiritual gifts, and financial resources that God has bestowed on believers. The responsibility that the man entrusted to the care of the servants is the mandate of the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples, and by extension to us. The good and faithful servants are those who obey the word of Jesus and faithfully carry out the assignment of soul-winning while the useless servants are those who disobey Jesus and bury their God-given gifts, talents, and financial resources that they can use for the sake of the Gospel.
How I wish that all Christians will hear this wonderful proclamation from Jesus. Our ability to recognize our responsibility here on earth is the first step towards accessing these congratulatory words of Christ. The mandate of the Great Commission is not an option to be considered by Christians, it is a command that must be obeyed. Embracing the mandate of “go ye” will inevitably help us to preach the Gospel and disciple converts as Christ commanded us. Obedience to the Word of God is non-negotiable.
The greatest mistake that we can make as Christians is for us to be oblivious to the fact that we will give an account of our stewardship here on earth. Developing accountability consciousness will guide us and help us rein in our fleshly excesses. It will help us to always recognize when we are deviating from God’s calling in our lives. We can easily go back to God for help when deviations and weaknesses are identified. We should also remember that we will give an account for everything God has given to us including our talents and resources.
In the parable of the bags of gold, the amount given to the servants was not equal. The same is true of the various abilities and resources that are given to believers by God. It is important to note that even though we have equal callings, we are not given equal responsibilities. Some are called to reach nations, some are called to reach cities, some are called to reach villages while others are called to reach streets. One thing that is certain is that every Christian has this calling.
In getting prepared to hear Jesus say “well done my good and faithful servants” to us, all hands must be on deck, and everyone must contribute his quota by effectively carrying out this assignment.
Some are given the responsibility to go to the mission fields, some are given the responsibility to support the goers with resources, while some are saddled with the responsibility to pray for the success of missionary work. If we are all carrying out these assignments faithfully, we can all rest assured that we are carrying out Jesus’ mission for our lives.