Watchman: Daily Devotional
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48).
The concept of "to whom much is given, much will be expected" implies that we are accountable for what we have. It is anticipated that if we are gifted with skills, fortune, knowledge, time, and the like, we would utilize them to honor God and help others.
Jesus had just delivered a story about being prepared for His coming. His disciple Peter inquired if the story was just for them or for everyone. Jesus responded with another parable in which He describes a "loyal and intelligent manager" as one who distributes food and other allowances "at the appropriate moment." When the master arrives and discovers that his devoted servant is effectively managing his resources, he "put him in charge of all his properties" (Luke 12:42–44). We have been entrusted with particular responsibilities, and loyalty necessitates that we handle those responsibilities carefully and unselfishly.
Jesus followed the story with a contrast: "Suppose the servant thinks to himself, 'My lord is taking a long time in arriving,' and he then proceeds to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and become drunk. The master of such servant will arrive on a day and at an hour when he is not expecting him. He will dismember him and set him among the unbelieving. The servant who understands the master's intentions and does not prepare or accomplish what the master wants will be punished severely" (Luke 12:44–47). The disloyal servant mismanages the master's riches to satisfy his own greed, and Jesus warns him that punishment awaits him.
The Lord then sums the parable by saying, "Everyone to whom much was given, much will be asked of him, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more" (verse 48, ESV). The Story of the Talents (or the Parable of the Bags of Gold) in Matthew 25:14-30 is a similar parable that likewise deals with stewardship.
It's easy to believe that only affluent people have been "given much," but in reality, we've all been given a lot (1 Corinthians 4:7). We have received God's rich grace (Ephesians 1:3-10; 3:16-21; Romans 5:8-11; 8:14-17), the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit's gifts (John 14:16–21; 16:13; Romans 12:6). "Each of you, as faithful stewards of God's mercy in its varied forms, should utilize whatever talent you have received to serve others" (1 Peter 4:10).
We should also not think that the less we understand about God and His blessings, the less work we will have to perform. As shown by Jesus' tale, we are held accountable for knowing our master's will. God has clearly shown what He needs (Micah 6:8).
God provides us with resources such as money and time, talents such as cooking or music, and spiritual gifts such as encouraging or teaching. We should pray to God for guidance on how to best utilize those resources and commit to spending them in accordance with His will so that He may be exalted.
"We have varied talents, according to the grace given to each of us," Paul stated of spiritual gifts. If your talent is prophesying, prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, serve; if it is teaching, teach; if it is encouraging, encourage; if it is giving, give freely; if it is leading, lead diligently; if it is showing compassion, show mercy gladly" (Romans 12:6–8). This is just good governance.
We have been given plenty, and God wants us to utilize it to advance His Kingdom and declare His glory. It's what we were made for. "Then Jesus replied to his followers, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. For anyone seeks to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.'" Matthew 16:24–25, 27. We are living sacrifices (Romans 12:1), offering all God has given us to serve others, and it is in this that we find life. God, the provider of all good things (James 1:17), provides us with all we need to carry out His purpose. "You have received freely; freely give" (Matthew 10:8).