He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.…
1. Notice how little we know concerning the relative importance of events and duties. We use the terms "great" and "small " in speaking of actions, occasions, plans, and duties, only in reference to their mere outward look and first impression. Some of the most latent agents and mean-looking substances in nature are yet the most operative; but yet, when we speak of natural objects, we call them great or small, not according to their operativeness, but according to size, count, report, or show. So it comes to pass when we are classing actions, duties, or occasions, that we call a certain class great and another small, when really the latter are many fold more important and influential than the former. We are generally ignorant of the real moment of events which we think we understand.
2. It is to be observed that, even as the world judges, small things constitute almost the whole of life.
3. It very much exalts, as well as sanctions this view, that God is so observant of small things. He upholds the sparrow's wing, clothes the lily with His own beautifying hand, and numbers the hairs of His children. He holds the balancings of the clouds. He maketh small the drops of rain.
4. It is a fact of history and of observation that all efficient men, while they have been men of comprehension, have also been men of detail. Napoleon was the most effective man in modern times — some will say, of all times. The secret of his character was, that while his plans were more vast, more various, and, of course, more difficult than those of other men, he had the talent, at the same time, to fill them up with perfect promptness and precision, in every particular of execution. There must be detail in every great work.
5. It is to be observed that there is more real piety in adorning one small than one great occasion. This may seem paradoxical, but what I intend will be seen by one or two illustrations. I have spoken of the minuteness of God's works. When I regard the eternal God as engaged in polishing an atom, or elaborating the functions of a mote invisible to the eye, what evidence do I there receive of His desire to perfect His works! No gross and mighty world, however plausibly shaped, would yield a hundredth part the intensity of evidence. An illustration from human things will present a closer parallel. It is perfectly well understood, or if not, it should be, that almost any husband would leap into the sea, or rush into the burning edifice to rescue a perishing wife. But to anticipate the convenience or happiness of a wife in some small matter, the neglect of which would be unobserved, is a more eloquent proof of tenderness.
6. The importance of living to God in ordinary and small things, is seen in the fact that character, which is the end of religion, is in its very nature a growth.
1. Private Christians are here instructed in the true method of Christian progress and usefulness.
2. Our subject enables us to offer some useful suggestions, concerning the manner in which Churches may be made to prosper.
3. Finally, some useful hints are suggested to the ministers of Christ.
(H. Bushnell, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.