Give all that you have and all that you are to God today.
Read Matthew 25:14–30
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
a Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you think doing God’s work in his world looks like for you?
Again Jesus uses a parable to look at what “readiness” looks like. What is emphasized is a conscious obedience in the use of the master’s resources, or “stewardship.”
The three servants in this parable are given different amounts of gold to “steward” while the master is away (14). The amount given to each servant is rather irrelevant (15). What is significant in this parable is what the servants do with what has been given (19). It is clear here that Jesus demands that we put to good use the gifts he has given us.
The third servant buries the bag of gold entrusted to him (18), but when confronted with his lack of faithfulness he blames the master (24b) as a “hard man.” His motivation is fear, not trust. The idea of a lived-out faith that trusts in the goodness of God and “bears fruit” is crucial in the Gospels. Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed” (Luke 8:16).
This parable is not about buying your salvation but it does emphasize that the good news of the kingdom of God should be life-changing. The two faithful servants receive further blessing, but the unfaithful servant loses even that with which he has been blessed (29).
What are your gifts? Do you use them in God’s service or make excuses? Find an avenue in which you can use one of your gifts in God’s service.
O God, show me how You want for me to serve Your kingdom.
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