This is the anniversary of the last week before Jesus was brutally executed, and He knew everything that was going to happen, well in advance. Can you imagine how much more stress and anxiety it would cause, KNOWING what was going to happen to you, and just waiting for it? He knew enemies were plotting His death, that a close friend would betray Him, that other close friends would abandon Him, that He would become a political pawn, be merciless beaten and crucified, and that on top of all of that, He knew He would take on the weight, burden and pain, of the world’s collective sin all for our sake.
In the midst of knowing and anticipating the horror to come, Jesus taught the truths of God’s kingdom with single minded clarity. He kept His focus on the mission He was given, and preparing His church for what was to come when He was resurrected. This week we read, in Matthew 25, what Jesus taught as the pressure reached its height. There was not a hint of self-pity, just clear and direct teaching about living a fully devoted life of faith. The parable of the talents paints a clear picture of faith in action. In this case, “talents” refers to specific sums of money. The idea Jesus was conveying to His listeners, was that each of us has God given opportunities and privileges that we are responsible for managing and using well. If we accept our stewardship, and are faithful, we will be honored and blessed by our Father, but if we refuse to accept and handle the responsibility He has given us, we will not. Jesus is reminding His followers that God is fully aware of our actions and motives, and faithfulness, will always be rewarded.
It is inspiring to see how Jesus handled the pressure and difficulty of these last days.