The Rewarded Parent & Teacher
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.Matthew 25:23
We know the context of this verse. It is taken from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The unprofitable servant went and buried the talent given to him by his lord, but the profitable servants used the talents they were given to gain more. The unprofitable servant was punished, but the profitable were rewarded.
We know that when we perform any good works — works of faith in God and love to God and others — we do so from a faith and love that God has planted and nurtured in our hearts by His Spirit. We know that whatever abilities we have are given by God. All opportunities that come our way are provided by God; if we have been a positive influence on anyone, be it our child or student or someone else, the impact made is also the work of God. Yet, the Lord speaks of rewarding us as His servants.
This reward is a reward of grace. God graciously rewards what He has graciously given. If this were not true, we would boast that our rewards were for what we did. We could proudly think that we were better than other parents or did a better job than other teachers and therefore the Lord rewarded us (Eph. 2:7-9; Rom. 3:20-28; 1 Cor. 1:26-31).
What is a gracious reward? Imagine a father whose birthday is approaching. He gives his two young children some money to go buy his birthday present. They do, and he then buys ice cream cones for the “wonderful” gifts that they “gave” him. This father graciously rewarded his children for what he had graciously given. He did not need to give them the money or the ice cream, but chose to do both.
Scripture also speaks of gracious rewards, crowns, heaven, and glory for God’s children. In our text, it speaks of faithful servants being rewarded. Notice that the language used to describe the reward for the servant who was given five talents and gained five more (v. 21) is the same as that used for the servant who received two and added two more. The Lord rewarded each servant’s faithfulness. Our Lord is more interested in how faithfully we serve than how many talents we have.
We often err like Samuel who, when considering who God would choose among the sons of Jesse to be anointed king, looked at appearances and abilities. But the Lord had to instruct him and us,
For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.1 Sam. 16:7
This means, dear parents and teachers, that the Lord is not searching for who is the most gifted parent and most talented teacher. He looks at our hearts. He searches for a serving heart — for one that serves faithfully.
We should be encouraged when we think about this and when we read God’s Word,
how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.
1 Cor. 1:26-29
Dear parent and teacher, God will indeed reward your labors — not because you were so wise or great in the world’s eyes, but because by God’s graciously given faith you served faithfully. It is not the great things you did that count, but the real things. It is the little things in daily life that really matter in the end. Children and students learn more from our daily example and teaching than from great accomplishments we once achieved or some profound words of wisdom we once uttered. Therefore, parents, what an encouragement to serve faithfully! Keep your hands on the plow. Teachers, do not aim for recognition but for servant faithfulness; not for great things, but for real things.
All God’s faithful servants shall be rewarded. This includes parents and teachers. Yes, this will surprise them and they will ask,
Lord, when saw we thee a hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee in prison, and came unto thee? And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Dear parents and teachers, your reward shall exceed all your expectations! No wonder we will cast our crowns at our Savior’s feet (Rev. 4:10). Let this encourage you. Even the little things you do, in Christ’s name, will be graciously rewarded by Him.
Are you a rewarded parent, a graciously honored teacher?