I have enjoyed revisiting the parables over the last couple of weeks. Through stories, Jesus reveals the nature of His Kingdom. Last week, we were overwhelmed by the extravagant grace of the king. We were reminded of the incredible debt paid by Jesus on the Cross. We were drawn into the story only to realize that we are the ungrateful servant when we fail to forgive.
This week, our parable includes another master. This time the master is going on a journey. He leaves his slaves/servants (doulos) in charge. He gives them different amounts of responsibility according to their ability. As we read the story, we will explore how they handle the master’s resources. I will not spoil the story. Join us on Sunday as we step into the story.
But in this blog entry, I would like to highlight the dynamic of a master leaving his servants (doulos) in charge. The word translated servant is often translated slave in the New Testament. We might breeze by this detail with little thought. Wealthy masters would often travel in the first century. They would seek to expand their wealth through trade connections. Their journeys would require long periods away from home. But they would usually hire professionals to care for their interests at home. Yet in this story, the master leaves his servants in charge; this is a profound picture. They are given an opportunity of a lifetime. As we continue the story, we will find a shocking invitation for the faithful servants.
(Matthew 25:21 NIV) Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
They are invited to share the master’s resources. Slaves seldom receive such an invitation. This is what the Kingdom of God is like. We are slaves made children.
I hope you can join us on Sunday as we enter another intriguing parable. Like the others, we are given new insight through the Scripture about what it means to live in the Kingdom of God.