Weekly bulletin article by Mike Johnson

Good and faithful. Just what does that mean? These are the words Jesus used to describe two of the three servants whose master had given them part of his money to steward while he was on a journey (Matthew 25:14-30). Their subsequent actions define the terms under consideration.

The scene is clear. The master was taking a journey. He left all three of his servants the responsibility of caring for his finances until he returned. Each one of was given an amount of money that fit his ability to steward. They did not all receive the same amount and no one of them received too much to handle. They each received what was “according to his own ability”.

The “good and faithful” two were given 5 and 2 talents respectively to manage. Both of them successfully managed and increased the money entrusted to them. The master praised them. The third servant, however, did nothing to increase the money given to him; he buried it in the ground and simply gave it back. The master was angry with his actions.

The master’s praise defines the phrase. The “good and faithful” servants took a few things and increased them. Here is the secret for us to be called “good faithful” by our Master. It is what we do with the few things that brings the praise.

It may be that Jesus told the story to make a point about the value of small things. The “big” things are visible to everyone. Servants pay close attention to the things that everyone sees. However, the small things offer a temptation to slack off and not work as hard. People are less likely to notice failures in the small things. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the “good and faithful” earn their reputation in the small things.