By Nancy Virden (c)2020
Jesus often taught using parables, analogies, and metaphors. The following is one such parable embellished by me in terms of adding detail – not changing the story. You can find it as Jesus told it in Matthew 25. For a more informative context, read Matthew 24 as well.
So the story goes…
A wealthy landowner prepared for a long journey. He readied eight bags of gold, each worth 20 years of a day laborer’s pay. Three servants were selected, and according to their finance skills were allotted portions of the gold. To one he gave five bags, another received two, and the third servant was given only one. Then the landowner left town.
Upon his return a long time later, he ordered the three servants to come to him. “What did you do with what I entrusted to you?” he said.
The first servant approached. “Sir, upon your leaving I immediately put your investment to work. Look, I have doubled the five bags you gave me.”
Excited about the increase and his servant’s performance, the landowner smiled. “Well done!” he said. “Since you have been faithful with a few bags of gold, I will put you in charge of many things. Come! Share my happiness!”
Encouraged by the response the first servant received, the second servant spoke. “You gave me two bags of gold. Here is double that amount.”
Again, the servant’s work was pronounced worthy of reward. “You will be in charge of many things! Come! Share my happiness!”
By now, the third servant was terrified. Initially convinced his choices would be found pleasing, now he saw that he had not behaved as the others had. Trembling, he began with an excuse.
“Sir, I know you are a hard man. You harvest crops you have not planted and …” His voice trailed. Catching his breath, he mustered bravado. “I buried it, sir, to keep it safe for you.”
Fury rose in the wealthy man’s face. “Shame on you lazy servant! If you knew I would be hard with you, at least you could have put it in the bank to earn interest!”
To other servants standing nearby, he ordered, “Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
With that, the lazy servant was banished. “Throw him outside where he will suffer.”
The meaning of this parable told by Jesus
Jesus Christ’s kingdom is spiritual. Two thousand years ago when he walked our planet, people expected him to be a human king, a restorer of peace. Instead, he reigns in the hearts of those who believe. His kingdom is one of faith.
He told the above parable in conjunction with two others with a similar message, Be ready!
Jesus “bought” us, paid for our sins with his life, and upon believing what God says about him, we accept Jesus as our only way to eternal salvation. The decision to ask God for the forgiveness of our sins is sometimes called “being saved” or “being born-again.” This is followed by a changing life – earnestly using whatever God has given us to do good for other people and bring glory to God. Like the servants who were to invest the gold, we are to put our faith into practice.
Some of God’s servants (those who believe) have plenty. These spiritual gifts, abilities, and opportunities are not theirs to own. They are to be investing in the lives of others. Some of God’s servants have less. They lack the more so-called greater spiritual gifts, and their abilities or opportunities to do good works are fewer. None of us are exempt from the call to take care of the poor, love our neighbors, and to count all material and prideful claims as losses, no matter how much we have to work with.
Still, there are lazy servants who hide what little God gives them. They bury the opportunity to repent and truly follow Christ’s example. They bury their abilities to do good for others. They hide in their fancy homes or hovels counting on the perception that they are not as bad as the next guy. These servants of God are not actually his servants. They are hypocrites at best.
Jesus is returning one day to take those who truly believe and surrender to His will, up to the eternal presence of God in heaven. This leaves unbelievers, hypocrites, and mockers to their suffering fate. On judgment day, Jesus will say, “I never knew you.”
This parable is a warning. Be ready!
It is not God’s will that anyone spends eternity without Him. Have your faith ready! Don’t be fake! With sincerity and integrity, surrender to God’s plan for your life.
Today’s Helpful Word
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved