Faithfulness in the Little Things
Tyler Van Horssen, Director of Student Ministry
Overview: In context, the parable of the talents is a part of what is called the “Olivet Discourse” (Matthew 24-25). In these chapters, Jesus shares with His disciples what will happen in the future regarding the end of the age. This includes the signs of the end of the age, a description of the abomination of desolation, Jesus’ second coming, and a description of the final judgment. In the middle of Jesus’ explanation of His return, He gives two parables depicting what faithful servants (disciples) will be doing as they wait for His return. The first parable—the parable of the ten virgins—emphasizes needed vigilance while awaiting Christ’s return, whereas the parable of the talents emphasizes needed diligence. Christ’s disciples are not to wait passively. Rather, they are to actively seek to be faithful with the time, talent, and treasures that their master has given them. It is faithfulness in these “little” things that the master commends and emphasizes in this parable.
1. Those who are faithful in the little things have the correct motivation driving them toward faithfulness: they are motivated by the faithfulness of their master. This motivation is cultivated and strengthened by habits of love toward God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Jesus made clear in this passage that His disciples will have higher and lower levels of “talents” given to them based on their abilities (see Matthew 25:15; Romans 12:6, 1 Corinthians 12:11). What are some of the beauties of this truth? What are some of the potential pitfalls this can lead to based on how a person perceives their number of talents?
2. In the parable of the talents, two of the master’s servants were faithful, and one was not. All three were under the impression that they were servants (disciples) of the master. How can our faithfulness reveal our true love for our master? What warnings does this pose for those in the church who lack love or obedience for Christ?
3. Look at the principles found in Matthew 25:21 and Luke 16:10. In what areas do these principles apply to your life? What are areas that you need to grow in faithfulness in “little” things? In what areas does faithfulness in “little” things come easy? In what areas are you tempted to be dishonest in “little” things?
4. What motivates you to be faithful to God? What habits of love for God may be helpful to deepen your love and motivation to be faithful to Him?