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.…
Here are two great truths suggested to us.
1. That we are here in this world merely on trial, and serving our apprenticeship.
2. That it is our fidelity that is tried, not so much whether we have done great or little things, but whether we have shown the spirit which above all else a steward should show — fidelity to the interests entrusted to him. The two verses following, in which this is applied, may best be illustrated by familiar figures. "If," says our Lord, "ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust that which is real?" He considers us all in this world as children busy with mere playthings and toys, though so profoundly in earnest. But, looking at children so engaged, you can perfectly see the character of each. Although the actual things they are doing are of no moment or reality; although, with a frankness and penetration not given to their elders, they know they are but playing, yet each is exhibiting the very qualities which will afterwards make or mar him, the selfish greed and fraud of one child being as patent as the guileless open-handedness of the other. To the watchful parents these games that are forgotten in the night's sleep, these buildings which as soon as complete are swept away to make room for others, are as thorough a revelation of the character of the child as affairs of state and complicated transactions are of the grown man. And if the parent sees a grasping selfishness in his child, or a domineering inconsiderateness of every one but himself, as he plays at buying and selling, building and visiting, he knows that these same qualities will come out in the real work of life, and will unfit their possessor for the best work, and prevent him from honourable and generous conduct, and all the highest functions and duties of life. So our Lord, observant of the dispositions we are showing as we deal with the shadowy objects and passing events of this seeming substantial world, marks us off as fit or unfit to be entrusted with what is real and abiding. If this man shows such greed for the gold he knows he must in a few years leave, will he not show a keener, intenser selfishness in regard to what is abiding? If he can trample on other people's rights for the sake of a pound or two, how can he be trusted to deal with what is infinitely more valuable? If here in a world where mistakes are not final, and which is destined to he burned up with all the traces of evil that are in it — if in a world which, after all, is a mere card-house, or in which we are apprentices learning the use of our tools, and busy with work which, if we spoil, we do no irreparable harm — if here we display incorrigible negligence and incapacity to keep a high aim and a good model before us, who would be so foolish as to let us loose among eternal matters, things of abiding importance, and in which mistake and carelessness and infidelity are irreparable?
(Marcus Dods, 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.