What does Matthew 25:23 mean?
ESV: His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
NIV: His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
NASB: His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’
CSB: "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master's joy.'
NLT: The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
KJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
This verse repeats almost exactly the praise given in Matthew 25:21. The master rewards the servant who used the two talents left to him to build a business that made another two talents. This is another 100 percent return on investment; a fantastic success in terms of business profit and worldly achievement.

Jesus is using the metaphor of financial success to communicate what it means to be His servant. His parable imagines the gifts He will give to His servants on earth—natural ability, skills, resources, money, assets—as things to invest. This is very much why the word "talent" is used in modern English as a reference to God-given abilities. He wants us to use those blessings to deepen our faith in Himself, to increase His glory on the earth, and hopefully to grow His church. It's noteworthy that what the master in this parable truly values is not the objective value of the money these men earned, but their faithfulness in applying what He has given them (Matthew 25:27–29).

Being told "well done" is a reward unto itself coming from the Son of God. Second, the master responds to faithful service over smaller things by giving the opportunity to be responsible for larger things. The reward is not about prestige, necessarily, but the opportunity to have an even greater impact. Finally, the master rewards the servant with a joy that can be shared and entered into: personal relationship with Himself.
Verse Context:
Matthew 25:14–30 compares the kingdom of heaven to three servants of a wealthy master. Each was given resources—the master's assets—and commanded to do business with them while he is away. Two of the servants apply the supplied funds and double the sums of money the master leaves with them. They are richly rewarded when he comes back. The third servant buries the money and does nothing with it out of supposed fear of the master. The master condemns his laziness and evil, casting him out. Jesus' servants must work diligently for Him while waiting for His return, not wasting the talents and resources which they have been given.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus uses two additional parables to illustrate a state of constant readiness for His return after He has gone. His followers should be working for Him while they wait. They must not be like the foolish young women who missed a wedding feast because they forgot oil for their lamps. They must be like the servants who doubled their harsh master's investments while He was away. Jesus concludes with a third descriptive passage, showing how He will judge between the righteous and evil when He returns as King.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 25 concludes the "Olivet Discourse:" Jesus' teaching to the disciples about future things as they sit on the Mount of Olives. This follows His dire predictions about the Temple and Jerusalem in chapter 24. He gives two more parables to emphasize that they must be prepared for His return. Finally, Jesus describes the moment of His return, after a time of tribulation, when He will judge all who live on earth at the beginning of His kingdom. This leads into Matthew's account of Jesus' Last Supper, betrayal, and arrest in chapter 26.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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