Matthew 19:12-27

In this parable, Jesus tells of a master who is going off to be made king. While he is away, he has entrusted a few of his servants with 10 mina each. The master gives them free will to do as they please with the money while he is gone. When he returns, he finds that one servant has doubled his mina, and that servant receives a reward of being put in charge of 10 cities. A second servant has increased his mina by 5, and he is put in charge of 5 cities. But the third servant hides his mina to protect it because he fears his master. Another element of this parable is that there are servants who plot to kill their master, who they think is a cruel leader, and they don’t want him to be king.

This parable is a story about what we do with the talents that we are blessed to have. Whether we realize it or not, we all have certain talents. We are called to use those talents in a way that furthers the Kingdom of God. If we use those talents properly, we will be rewarded when the King returns. The king in the parable is Jesus, who goes away from this Earth, but will one day return to judge us by our deeds. The better we use our talents, the more we will do to increase His kingdom, and our reward will be greater. Those who hide away their talents and do nothing for the kingdom will be denied any reward. Finally, the servants plotting to kill their master relates to Judas and the Pharisees who plot to kill Jesus. Or they could just be anyone who speaks evil or plot evil against God and His people in general. The time will come when they will have to face the consequences, which will be a spiritual death.

Although there is some doom and gloom in this parable, I’d like to look on the positive side of things. I think…no, I KNOW…that we all have something to bring to the table that can further God’s Kingdom. And it doesn’t have to be fancy, or something that is overly challenging, or involve going on international mission trips. It doesn’t have to involve quoting scripture or preaching a sermon. Of course all of those things ARE important and DO make a difference. But, it can also be simple things like how we have conversations with people on bowling night. Or it could be a smile and handshake or hug for someone who is going through a difficult time. I am a firm believer in our actions speak louder than our words. To say we are Christians and preach the scriptures while being unkind and judgmental is only going to make people who are non-Christians or those on shaky ground in their church life turn further away from The Church. We can’t judge people and throw The Book at people who are already hesitant Christians at best, who maybe were even hurt by a church at some point. We can’t, as Craig preached last week, judge a book by its cover and write them off as not Christians, or remind them of just how non-Christian they are. Instead, we have to just treat them with love and respect, even if they are a prickly cactus. We have a better chance at bringing them to God by still being kind to them. WHICH IS A HARD THING TO DO AT TIMES! But, I believe anyway, as long as we are trying to always be better, we are headed in the right direction.