The statement in this verse is true: we are slaves bought with the price of the blood of our Lord and are expected to know and intentionally obey His commands. This can be done legalistically by fulfilling the letter of the law, but this is unprofitable and “undeserving of special praise.”
There is no question that we are all unworthy of praise, but the word undeserving means to be “useless, of no use or profit, or worthless.” Such a person is like the steward who received a talent of silver from his master (Matt 25:14–-23) but was afraid to do anything with it and simply returned it to his master.
There is no indication in the text that any of the three stewards were told what to do with the wealth they had been given. The one who produced nothing more than what he was given was “useless” because he was unproductive.
Employers become frustrated when they must tell their employees what to do every day. The better employee knows what needs to be done and uses his ingenuity, creativity, and skills to make the employer successful and accomplish his mission. Every employer dreams about this kind of employee.
The classic illustration of this principle is the Great Commission. Jesus told the Twelve and other listeners to make sure the gospel is preached to every tongue, tribe, people, and ethnic people group on earth (Matt 24:14; 28:19–-20, etc.). He never said how it should be done or who should do it. He expects the profitable servant to figure it out so that He may reward the servant for his creative service.
The judgment seat of Christ is all about discerning who is “good” (“profitable, useful”) and who is “bad” (“worthless, cowardly”) for the kingdom’s sake (2 Cor 5:10). It is not about who has been good or bad morally but about who has contributed to expanding the kingdom around the globe without having to be told how—-just because they know it is their Savior’s desire. All the rewards of heaven are promised to this kind of obedient believer. Is this you?
“Lord Jesus, You mean everything to me. I want to know whatever You want in life today, and I will do it. I will not wait for a special sign, but I will live out Your word throughout my day.”