The more I learn about God’s plan for our lives the more I realize it is not being comfortable about our relationship with God. No, it is more about taking a bold step or leap of faith to do something we consider improbable for us. Why would Jesus invite Peter to walk on the water during the storm if it was not to challenge him to trust God and do something that he believed was impossible to do? Why would Jesus tell the disciples to feed the people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread? Jesus knew they could not comprehend how so little could last beyond 10 people, much less feed thousands. Yet they listened and took a handful of food and walked into the crowd only to find their hands never emptied of the food.
Jesus constantly in the scriptures gives us this lesson about faith and trust in God. Why do you think those lessons are given to us? I believe it is because we cannot see ourselves doing anything beyond what we are doing right now. Most of us feel inadequate or insignificant to spread the good news of the gospel. The truth is if we trusted God enough we would realize we have more than enough to move forward. Gideon’s story in Judges Chapter 6 is one of many stories God has given us to drive home that exact point because he did not see himself as capable to do what God required of him. Yet, he was given all he needed and eventually he began to believe.
This parable today is another reminder from God to move ourselves from that comfortable and safe place we are living our faith and begin to bear fruit for the kingdom. Think about this parable and others like it in the scriptures and you will begin to understand our call is not to be concerned about making a mistake but rather boldly go forth and expend some effort to show others the love, mercy and awesome power of God at work in us who believe. If you truly examine this parable you will see clearly how God is showing us a picture of the kind of believer that pleases him. That believer is the one who is not afraid of failing and certainly not one where we are afraid of displeasing him.
I can sympathize with the servant who receives the least amount of money because it is obviously an indication that the master did not believe his ability to make it grow in value to equal the other servants value. We like him can often feel inadequate in the presence of some very gifted people who use their gifts to server us all. Yet, since the master praises both of the other servants for doubling the investment it is obvious that it is not the size of the gift but the effort to make it grow is what pleases the master.
The master was pleased with the effort and boldness of the first two servants. He praises them because they took what he gave them and boldly took a risk and then he give them more to do. Another lesson, it is an endless task and we can never get complacent about what we are doing because there is always more we can do to spread the good news of the kingdom.
The servant that disappoints the master is the one who was afraid to take a chance. God is telling us something about money, spiritual gifts, our natural talents and ultimately our response to a loving God who made an investment in our salvation. Why are we so reluctant to be bold in our faith instead of our weak timid response to the gift of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?
We are challenged today to look at our response to the gift we have been given by God and how we are using that gift. God is reminding us to look at every aspect of our lives – our work life, our family life, our spiritual life and our life in the community of faith and make certain we are investing in those areas so there is growth in them and each area is producing fruit for the kingdom of God. Do we love our spouses and nurture them so they grow spiritually? Are we loving and nurturing our children and grandchildren so they grow spiritually? Is our interaction with the community of faith helping them discover their gifts and are we helping them use those gifts for the kingdom?
If we are going to be disciples then we must not be fearful of anything or anyone for our task is to prepare the way for the Lord.