The Parable of the Slaves

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It all comes down to this.. The servants of God… The slaves of God… They serve with a purpose.  You, have been enormously invested into. How will you provide God a return on His amazing investment?

This parable is pretty powerful, isn’t it?  It is really heavy, and most of the time, we Christians just don’t really want to talk about it.

Read the whole parable from Matthew 25 below, then answer the following questions.

“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. He 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. 

“The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. 

“After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The 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.’ 

“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!’ 

“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.’ 

“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!’ 

“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. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ 

“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, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 

“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To 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. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

What strikes you about this story?  What stands out?

On Sunday, I talked about the enormous investment the master made… Do you remember how much a “talent” is?  One talent is about 75 pounds of silver.  Somebody do the math!  How much is a pound of silver worth in today’s dollars?  How much of an investment did the master make into each of these servants?

The bottom line is that the master makes a GIANT investment into his servants.  What kind of investment has he made into you?

He makes this investment for a purpose.  Did you ever think of Jesus coming into your life for a specific purpose?

The story above really lends itself to the concept of expecting a “Return On Investment,” or “ROI.”  Have you ever heard that term before?  Where do you normally find that term?  Do you normally find it in church?  Did you realize it was in the Bible?  How does that term, and this story, make you think differently about God’s purpose in you?

So, if God is concerned about his ROI… What should we be doing about it?

How does the following verse apply?

Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
-1 Corinthians 3:12-15

 

What about the servant who doesn’t obey? What happens to him?

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
-Revelation 3:15

How can your group pray together about becoming the obedient servants that we each need to be?

For to me, to live is Christ…
-Philippians 1:21

 

 

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