October 27, 2021

Matthew 25:14-15
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.


I’m getting older. Technology continues to outpace me, and I often find myself asking people younger than myself how to do something I’ve struggled and struggled to do on my own. Watching my children or younger co-workers zip through a tech problem I wrestled with for an hour can feel insanely frustrating. What I often forget is that they spent time figuring out the solution themselves at some earlier point. They have had way more practice navigating technology than I. And judging my novice ability against their mastery is an incomplete comparison.
The same can be true about this parable of Jesus. We read that the master gave to each according to his ability. So at some point previously, the master had seen and judged the ability of each of his servants. They had been given opportunities to invest, work, and earn. We come into this parable far into the relationship and dynamics between servant and master. Why is this important?
What if, instead of assuming each of us is forever in one of the categories Jesus listed—a five bag wunderkind, a two bag employee of the month, or a one bag slacker—what if we see it as a progression? It’s possible at some point, the five bagger would have buried his bag of gold. It’s probable Mr. Two-bags will continue to hone his skill and work-ethic to become ever more resourceful and trusted. Even the slacker might experience a wake-up call and regain his master’s favor. 
So the question isn’t just, “Which servant are you?” The question is, “What small steps can you and I take to increase our capacity as stewards of God’s gifts?” As Jesus says in concluding the parable, 
“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.”
If we see this parable as a snapshot of these men’s lives, we can easily imagine another opportunity for them, and for you and I, to hone ability and faithfulness. Take a minute and reflect on what you have been given. Are you financially successful? Do you have wisdom acquired through struggle and victory? Do you have a stable family? Do you have free time in abundance? All of these things are gifts. How can you begin to use them to bless others and communicate the good news of God’s kingdom to those around you?
Posted in