‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
Everybody remembers the iconic quote from the original Spider-man movie with Toby Maguire where Uncle Ben says to Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That line has been such a powerful reminder to me of the weightiness that exists in being a pastor. I have a lot of influence and power over a lot of people, and I have been given a great responsibility to use that power for their good and flourishing.
Now, I realize that this is just a silly movie quote, but we can even see some parallels to it within the Bible. Take the verses above from Luke 19. Jesus is telling his disciples and the gathered crowd a parable about 10 servants who each received a coin from their master. They were to use the coin to engage in business while their master went into a far away country to become the ruler of it.
When he returned he called the servants to see what they had done with his coin. One servant took the coin and made ten more. His reward was to have authority over ten cities. The next took the coin and made five more. His reward was five cities. Then the next servant gave the master back his same coin. He did nothing with it because he was afraid of his master. In the end, the master took back his coin and gave it to the man who made ten.
To many people this story may seem unfair. You might think, “well at least his servant protected the coin,” or “why does the man who made 10 coins get it, why not one of the other servants.” But this story, like the movie quote, illustrates an important point about God and his kingdom. God gives greater fruit and rewards to those who are faithful in much. Or we could say it this way:
With great faithfulness, comes great fruit and reward.
Before somebody freaks out, I want to say that this doesn’t necessarily mean that if we are faithful to God that we will some how get a million dollars or will become the next Billy Graham. That could happen, but for most of us probably not. Nor am I saying that somehow we are earning our salvation. The point is, if we are good stewards and servants of the gospel message that we have been entrusted with, then God will use us to bear spiritual fruit in peoples lives.
He will make our gospel witness effective.
And the truth is, the more faithful we are the more effective our witness will be. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that we will see a thousand people come to faith. But God will us our faithfulness to bear fruit in the lives of other people in ways that we may see, or may not see until Christ returns. And on that day when Christ returns we will receive full, rich, weighty, joy-filled, and everlasting rewards for such faithful service.
Yet there is a warning if we choose to squander the gospel message. If we say we believe Jesus, but don’t live out our faith, then when Jesus returns it will be revealed that we didn’t really love and believe Jesus. There will be no fruit, no reward, and no eternity.
As Jesus said, “Even what he has will be taken from him.”
So if you are a believer in Christ seeking to be faithful (though imperfectly) take heart. Keep seeking to be faithful in all things, and don’t squander the treasure of the gospel that you have been given. Know that God sees your faithfulness. And though you may or may not see it, he is using and will us it to bear much fruit for his kingdom, and you are storing up for yourself treasures and rewards in the eternity to come when Christ returns.