Parable of the three servants – God’s character

Friday 19 November 2021

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. 16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]’ 22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ 23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ 26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matthew 25:14-30

What are you afraid of, or in fear of?

I have a phobia, of snakes. I will be the first person to watch a nature programme about snakes as I find them fascinating. But in terms of being in the same room as a snake I would take flight without a moment’s hesitation. As for touching one, or worse still hanging it round my neck like some people do!!! That is just not going to happen. I know people who feel the same way about spiders. If there is one in the middle of a room, some people can become paralysed with fear. Not being able to move until the little creature is removed. It is amazing how fear affects our character and the way we behave. For those brief moments we become a different person.

In our own lives we may have other fears, or insecurities. Those that also affect our thinking, our behaviour and sometimes our general wellbeing. These could be fear of losing our job, of financial worries, or our own health, or perhaps the health of loved ones.

In the parable of the three servants one of the servants had a fear of his master. He said to him, ‘I know you are a hard man…I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground.’ As a result of his fear, he buried the talent (coin) he was given rather than investing it and making it grow like the other two good servants did.  When we are fearful, or afraid of a boss that perhaps we have worked for in the past, or I hope not the one we work for now, we cannot give our best.  We feel unwilling to use any of our gifts and talents we have been blessed with, or try anything new by taking a risk, in case we should fail and the boss comes down hard on us. It may cause us to regress and never to achieve our full potential, burying what we have to offer.

In this parable that Jesus told, the master is God. Whatever fears, or doubts we may encounter in our lives we know that we can be assured that God’s character is one of unfailing love, mercy and grace. He is ready to forgive if we have messed up, given up, or retreated. We know we can trust in Him and that he will never leave us. This promise was ultimately played out through what Jesus did for us when he went to the cross. He loves and cares for us. So, the servant who buried his talent he didn’t really know his master, or his character and it prevented him from multiplying what he had been given, however small that was in comparison to the other two servants. Do you know your master? What will you do today with what God has given you?    



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 Philippians 1:6

God is far more interested in your character, then your comfort

Rick Warren
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