“Stay awake… If the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, he will set him over all his possessions.”
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps… At midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps…
“It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more… His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ ” Matthew 24:42-47; 25:1-4,6-7,14-16, 21
Jesus masterfully illustrates His teaching points with everyday examples. In calling His disciples to be faithful and wise, He contrasts those who are and are not, prompting personal decision to commit one way or the other. Would they be prepared to greet Him? Did they understand accountability? Were they ready for more responsibility? Were they alert to His voice and opportunities? Then they must take care to engage every faculty in His direction.
If many are not, what distinguishes those the Lord calls faithful and wise? The question begs a specific answer. He is the one who expectantly watches for the Lord and actively invests and makes the most of God- given gifts and opportunities. He cares for and serves the needy as fellow image bearers in Jesus’s name. He understands and appreciates his relationship to God as His bondservant, ready and willing to do His bidding. He appropriates all goods and time as entrusted to him for a season, taking that stewardship seriously, rejecting selfishness and sloth. He is open-handed, loves lavishly, and pours out generously for Jesus’s sake. (Matthew 25:34-40; 26:6-13)
Where do I chose self-serving over faithfulness, or foolishness over wisdom? How do I spend my energy, time, and resources- for my own interests or the Lord’s? How can I elevate expectation and zeal in work and service, and multiply the effectiveness of what God has entrusted to me? Where will I spread His love, truth, and grace today, and know His joy?
Lord, make me faithful and wise in every facet of thought, every impulse of sense and action, and every ounce of spiritual passion, for the sake of Your kingdom and glory.