Summary: Which servant are you?
What is going on in this parable?
"The kingdom of heaven is like a man who is leaving on a trip.
He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them."
This parable sits square in the middle of three parables Jesus told in Matthew Chapter 25.
They all have to do with the fact that Jesus is going away.
He will soon be arrested, beaten, and crucified.
Three days later He will rise from the dead--opening the gates to Paradise.
He will have claimed victory over death, hell and the devil.
In the meantime, He will give His Holy Spirit to His Church--to those Who will believe on His name--to those Who become His disciples through faith in Him.
He will give them, in a sense, the keys to the Kingdom.
He will hand all that is His over to them.
He will entrust them with the message of eternal life--the Gospel of God--the Words of Life.
He will also entrust them with the Scriptures, and with the call of Christ to Love God, Love neighbor, love enemies, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, visit the sick and those in prison.
They will be entrusted with raising the children, teaching the young about the love of God and working to protect them from the snares of evil...
They will be called to "Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything [Jesus] has commanded..."
And again, "Jesus Himself, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be with them every day..." until Christ returns...
...until the Master Who has gone away on a trip returns.
And those, whom He has entrusted with the Great Commission to make disciples...
When the Master returns, He will call them together to settle accounts.
Could that be what this parable is about?
Could this parable be about US?!!!
Could Jesus be the "man who was leaving on a trip"?
Could WE be "his servants," the ones "He called...and handed his possessions over to..."?
If so, I'm gonna ask us all a very chilling question: which servant are you?
Which servant are you?
In this parable, I think it's fair to say that the "valuable coins" represent the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the very Gospel itself.
And so we are told that the man gave "five valuable coins" to one of the servants.
"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."
Now, this man, was very, very generous.
Because each one of these valuable coins was worth more than fifteen years wages.
In today's terms that might average out to somewhere between $750,000 and $800,000 dollars per coin.
That's a lot of money.
That's a lot of responsibility.
That's a lot of trust.
What would you do if someone entrusted you with close to one million dollars?
Would you go on a wild spending spree?
Would you make high-risk investments?
Would you put it in the bank to gain interest?
Or would you dig a hole and put it in the ground?
If you were to ask someone who works as an investment manager or someone who works in what is called the "wealth management industry" what you would have to do, the risks you would have to take to "double your money," he or she would probably tell you about the Rule of 72.
What is the Rule of 72?
Well, if your investment has a guaranteed interest rate of 5 percent, you divide the interest rate into 72, and the answer will be the number of years it will take to double your money.
Five percent into 72 equals fourteen and a half years.
If you were to ask the investment manager how risky this is, he or she would tell you that if you want to double your money quickly the risk goes way up.
I have read that in the world of venture capital, only about 1 out of 4 or 5--some say 1 out of 10 makes it.
The other-times you lose--EVERYTHING!!!
Being entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ sounds like risky business, does it not?
Now, we have to keep in mind that Jesus Christ told this story in the middle of His own personal high-risk venture.
He was giving His life for the salvation of the world.
In the parable, the first servant takes the money to the market, to a wealth management firm, and invests it in high-risk ventures.
The second servant does the same thing, puts the money to work at high risk.
And both of them do very well.