Today’s Bible Reading:
Parable of the Three Servants
14“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
16“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
19“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
21“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
22“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
23“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
24“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
26“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
28“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Verse of the Day:
Our reading in Matthew continues with the Parable of the 3 Servants. This is a pretty familiar story that most of us have heard before.
- A man is going on a long trip. This could possibly represent Jesus and his near departure from earth.
- The man calls together his servants and gives them money. One interpretation tells us that 1 bag or talent was equal to 15 years’ wages. That means he gave one servant 5x that amount, one servant 2x and the last servant 1 bag.
- The first servant with 5 bags invested his money and earned 5 more, doubling his amount.
- The second servant with 2 bags earned 2 more, doubling his amount.
- The third servant with only 1 bag buried his money in the ground. He earned nothing additional.
- The master returns and calls each of the servants to tell him how they have used the money.
- Each of the servants give their report. Both of the first two servants are celebrated for their responsibility in handling the money. The master wants to give them each more responsibilities because they have done well and earned his trust.
- Unfortunately, the master is not impressed with the report of the last servant that hid his money. He scolds him for his actions, then orders for his money to be taken and given to the first servant.
- Here’s the main message of this parable: If you wisely use what you are given, you’ll get more. But if you do nothing with what you are given, it will be taken away.
- Not only will the responsibility be taken away, but that servant is cast out into outer darkness – which represents hell.
God has given each and every one of us talents and abilities that are unique to the person that we are and the situation in which we live and work. Every single day we are presented with opportunities to use those talents – listening, encouraging, teaching, helping, serving, etc.
Do we invest those talents wisely like the servants that doubled their return? Or, do we bury our talents, keep them hidden and ignore what God calls us to do?
Jesus is teaching the disciples that they have a huge responsibility to carry on the ministry after he leaves earth. He wants them to realize how important it is to use what they have been given.
Can you imagine for just a moment what would have happened if they hadn’t continued the ministry of Jesus Christ after his death and resurrection?
It’s also important to note that we have not all been given the same responsibilities. I will be the first one to raise my hand and admit that it is so very hard not to compare yourself with others around you and what they are doing.
Here’s what my husband tells me when I get caught in the trap of comparison: you can’t compare your insides with their outsides. What you see on the surface is not the true representation of people. That’s truth, y’all.
If we continue to keep our eyes on Jesus, He is faithful to lead each of us into a place where we work in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Daily.
What can you do today to take advantage of what God has given you? How can you share Jesus with someone, maybe without even saying a word?