On Sunday morning we wrapped up our very short sermon series entitled “The Possession Parables.” If you missed worship this week, I’d encourage you to listen to the message here.
In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells his disciples a parable about a Master who entrusted three of his servants with varying amounts of treasure while he went on a long journey. At the end of the story, the Master returns and asks for an accounting of what each of the servants has done with whatever money was entrusted to them.
A parable is a made-up story that Jesus tells in order to teach some truth. And the hearers of the story are always in the story somewhere. You are represented in this story Jesus tells about the bags of treasure. And maybe, as you think about yourself and your bank account, maybe you mostly think you are the person who has been given only one bag of gold in this life. Maybe you are a person who is often looking at others who have been given more than you and are wondering why, or wishing you had what they have. Or maybe you tend to be a person who looks at global poverty, and you see the pictures coming out of Yemen, or Haiti, or rural Central America and you wonder why you have been given so much in this life. Maybe you look around your house and wonder why you need all this stuff, and maybe you feel you are most like the servant in the parable who has been given 5 bags in this life. I actually think that, in many ways, most of us are probably 2-baggers. There are always going to be people who have been given more money and always people with less.
All of us have been given something in this life. The point of Jesus’ parable here is that what we have been given, is way less important than what we are going to do with what we have. Everything in our hands has been placed there by God. It has all come to us through God’s grace, and God’s love, and God’s plan for our lives.
And it is a waste of your time, to complain about what has been placed in your hands and what has not. Whatever it is that is in your hands is your opportunity to do something worthwhile with what you have been given. And we either “get to”, or we “have to” give an accounting to God of what we did with what we were given.
The numbers are irrelevant. The master doesn’t compare the amount of return the servants generated. He simply rejoices that they have been faithful with whatever was entrusted to them, or the Master grieves that his servants have wasted the opportunity they had been given.
And we are never going to be compared to anyone else, when it comes to what we spend on ourselves, and what we give away. What we will be asked is this simple question, “What did we do with what has been entrusted to us by God in this life?”