When we offer all that we have and all the are in a risky way, God will honor our investments and increase the love in our lives and the world.
Matthew 25: 14-30 (CEB)
14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15 To one he gave five valuable coins, and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey.
16 “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
22 “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
24 “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. 25 So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? 27 In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28 Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29 Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30 Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’
“People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.
Unpack it! Jesus frequently taught using Parables, stories that used metaphor or allegory to teach a deeper lesson or moral. Here, Jesus uses the image of a master and three servants to explain how God expects us to live. The servants have “talents” or valuable coins and are expected to invest them wisely and well, we have talents and skills, money and resources, and our own blood, sweat, and tears that God expects us to invest wisely and well.
Discussing the Text
The servants are not judged based upon how much they return to the master, but instead they are judged on whether they invested the full amount they were given. What does this teach you about God’s expectation for our lives?
The servant that fails the test buries his coin out of fear that he won’t succeed in his investment. What fears come to mind for you when you think about risking yourself or your resources for God’s purposes? How do we quiet those fears?
The master says that in the future he will give more to the servants who invested well. What does this mean for our lives? Does God promise us wealth or personal success if we are faithful? If not, what is it that God promises us when we choose to risk ourselves for His glory?
Hint: As we increase in our willingness to risk for the sake of the Gospel, God will provide us with more opportunities to do just that!
Questions for a Deeper Faith
What gifts or skills do you think God has given you to be used for his purposes?
How can your job, career, or interests be used by God to show his love and glory in the world?
Have you ever chosen to bury your “talents” in the past? What opportunities do you think were missed? What are the possibilities moving forward?
The master speaks harshly to the servant who fails, but we know God is full of grace and mercy. This week/month/year, how do you feel God might be leading you to invest more fully in God’s purposes? Think about your talents, your resources, and yourself.
Thank you for the gifts and talents you have entrusted us with.
Help us find the ways to invest and multiply the gifts that you have given us.
Teach us to take risks with the things you have given us to glorify you.