The sermon text was Matthew 25:14-30, using the exclamation “Are you kidding me!” to reflect what went on in the text, and to express our application. This exclamation can be captured in two ways:
1. “Are you kidding me!” reflects unbelief, that the master (lord) would be so capricious. The third servant did not acknowledge the gifts of the master given to him (“and entrusted his possessions to them” 25:14). Note that the first two when reporting back to the Master, refer to that giftedness: “‘Master, you entrusted to me” (25:20, 22). The third servant did not respond that way, but only viewed the master as hard. Even that is not an excuse for not doing more. Also, note the subtle change in 25:18, he dug a hole and placed ἀργύριον, that is, “silver” (“money” in most translations). The most appropriate place for silver is buried in the ground. But the shift comes back in 25:25 when he responds to the master, using what the master originally gave him, τάλαντόν (“talent”) that is “money.”
Because the servant misunderstood the good intentions of the master, he cannot share in the happiness of the master. The exclamation for him reflects his unbelief. For many in the world, they see God only as a hard, capricious God. Like the wicked servant these people question everything that happens in an incredulous manner, “Are you kidding me!” as if the person knew better than God and was more loving than God. It is an exclamation of unbelief.
2. “Are you kidding me!” reflects the belief that master (lord) is not a hard man. The first two servants view the master as their master intended. The entrusting was a special honor of service. Just think, one talent=denarii or the equivalent of 10,000 days of wages! That is a good nest egg, even in today’s market. Both servants acknowledge that they have been entrusted, and responded to the master’s trust. By believing the master (lord) to be honest and fair, they trusted him implicitly. They receive the commendation, “well done, good and faithful servant.” And they share in the master’s happiness.
For those who believe in Jesus Christ, we see the Lord God whose anger at our sin is taken away, and now the Lord God is seen as gracious and loving. Our eyes may not tell us, but the Lord God, does tell us, reminding us in special ways (Word, Baptism, Lord’s Supper). And that is what counts. We have that same commendation waiting for us, as we wait eagerly “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5). And we exclaim in joyous belief: “Are you kidding me!”