The Parable of the Bags of Gold – Matthew 25:14-30
In this Parable we read about a man who goes away on a journey and entrusts all of his wealth to his servants. The servants are given wealth in proportion to their ability – their natural strength (v.15). As the story progresses we find that the servant who is trusted with 5 bags of gold puts the money to work and gains five more bags. Similarly the servant who is entrusted with 2 bags of gold puts it to work and earns 2 more bags. Lastly we read of the servant who dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money keeping it safe but not putting it to good use.
The servants who earned more gold with their master’s initial investment were spoken highly of and invited to share in his happiness. In contrast the servant who takes his masters money and hides it is called wicked and lazy. He is told off for knowing the character of his master and not putting what he had been given to good use.
There are a few ideas that we should take from this story. In particular I want to focus on verses 28 and 29:
“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 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.”
If the focal point for us when reading this parable is the bags of gold that the servants are entrusted with and (later) are rewarded with then we have missed the point.
I believe this story tells us very clearly how we are expected to serve God. We know something of the character of God from reading the Bible and also through the relationship that we can have with him. We know he is loving, we know he is generous, we know that he knows how to give good gifts to his children and we know that he cares deeply and intimately for all people.
Therefore, as we know the character of our master we should examine our own lives. When we look at all the things that we have been entrusted with, whether it be financial security, spiritual gifts, practical skills (or one of many other things) we have to ask ourselves are we using them to bring glory to God and to make an impact upon the people around us as well as we could be?
In Luke 16:10 we read this:
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Proverbs 16:8 says:
“Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”
“Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”
If we want to grow in our relationship with God and develop day by day into a more and more valuable member of the Kingdom this is where we start. With what we have been given, whether that be ‘a little’ or ‘much’. We should faithfully and honestly prove ourselves to be trustworthy of the duties and responsibilities that we have.
Joyce Meyer writes, ‘Many people are like that third servant (who said, ‘I was afraid’, v.25). They hide their talents because they are afraid – afraid of responsibility; afraid of judgment; afraid of what people will think. They are afraid to step out; afraid they might fail; afraid of criticism; afraid of other people’s opinions; afraid of being misunderstood. They are afraid of the sacrifice and hard work involved.’
This isn’t a post written exclusively for the benefit of those of you who are in some form of leadership, but rather for all who love Jesus and want to be obedient to the challenge he gives us. Church for Students and the wider Church should be made up of people who are prepared to serve well with the skills that they have and the direction in which God leads them. As a community let’s be intentional and enthusiastic to worship with the skills we have that God has gifted us (big or small) so that we can serve this City better. It’s only by honouring the gifts and skills that God has given us that he will give us more and allow us to reach more people and see more of his Kingdom come on the earth.
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble” Helen Keller.
“A great man is always willing to be little.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.