He expects a return. A fruit return. Are you more loving than you used to be? He gave you the Holy Spirit, he gave you the Word of God. He wants to see the likeness of Christ produced in your life and then through your life. Fruit is multiplication. There should be people following Jesus because you’re following Jesus.
Maybe you’ve had a hard week or a hard year, you’re still here! You’re still here. Maybe something’s happened that dashed your hopes or broke your heart. YOU’re still here! and that’s awesome and that shows God at work in your life and part of your return is that you will give back to him your life at the end, still belonging to him, still loving him, still serving him, still faithful to him. Don’t defect, don’t quit, don’t walk away. If you fall what? get up again! and persevere in that.
Jesus Christ is a demanding boss to whom we must account, Jesus Christ expects a return on his investment, Jesus Christ says failure to multiply is wicked and lazy. From the text: His master answered him, “you wicked slothful servant.” Wicked; evil in behavior, slothful; evil in effort. You tried hard at wrong things [wicked servant] and not hard enough at right things [lazy servant].
Also in both versions of this sermon what’s the reason that the guy gave why he hid, buried it? Both times he said “I was afraid.” Fear distorts my view of Jesus and forfeits faithful multiplication. Fear is the culprit. He’s afraid of risking. “I know what you’re like, you pick up where you didn’t lay down. You have people that work for you and you expect them to work hard and expect them to show a return on the investment. I was afraid i would lose it. I wasn’t willing to risk it..”
Better to try and fail than not to try. You can try and fail but you can’t fail to try. “I was afraid!” Fear of losing leads to stockpiling and fear of losing leads to a distorted view of Jesus. “You’re harsh!” “No, I’m not harsh, but I am demanding and expect a return on my investment.” “Well, but you’re unfair!” “No, no, I’m not unfair, but I am demanding and I do expect a return on my investment.” “Well, I think you kinda ripped me off because you only gave me one talent and you gave the other other guy two, and the other guy, you gave him five.” “Well, what you did with it actually shows the wisdom that I only wasted one on you.”
– Excerpts from James MacDonald’s sermon, Multiply it Faithfully, Part 2