Then another servant came and said, Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow. – Luke 19:20-21
Jesus told a parable about 10 servants who were chosen to invest and get a return on their boss’ money. When the boss returned to account for his capital, each man reported on what he’d done with the money entrusted to him. The first man reported 100% yield from his work, and likewise, the second reported 100% yield also. Then another worker stepped forward in embarrassment and returned to his boss the exact same money he’d been given to invest. His excuse was that he was he was afraid of his boss because the boss was an austere man and dealt harshly with people. By his own admission, the employee was fired. What he’d been given was turned over to the first employee because of his faithfulness and dedication.
What type of worker are you? (When I say worker, I mean a servant of God.) Are you one who goes and does what is asked of you by the boss (God in this case)? Or, are you like the last worker in this parable who slacked off and refused to work per the boss’ instructions? I ask this intriguing question because I want to stir up inside you what you think to be truth. I, also, want to stir up the gift(s) of God inside you in order that you may do the work of the evangelist, as Paul told Tim to do.
You see, we don’t get the full account of this parable from Luke’s rendition. No, we have to bump on over to Matthew 25:14-30. In Matthew’s firsthand account we get the full gist of the parable. It boils down to this fact: those who do what God says will enjoy eternal life while those who don’t will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Some people like the Lucan account and refute the Matthean account. Why? Because in Matthew’s version the lazy, wicked servant is cast into hell! So you think that everyone who refers to themselves as a Christian or believer are going to heaven? Look again! And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness [HELL]. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
When Jesus referred to people as servants, He spoke of those claiming to be children of God. The “good servants” are the children of God, but the “evil” or “wicked” or “lazy” servants really were not children of God but claimed to be! Jesus entrusted the Jews to be the first missionaries to the world, but what did they do? They got themselves caught up in nationalism and religion and thereby ostracized anyone who wasn’t a Jew. Outsiders were unclean pagans and with whom not to associate. When the Jews failed to do the work they’d been given to do, Jesus turned to the Gentiles to bring them into the firm, train them, and set them up to do His work. Unfortunately, many Gentiles who’ve been trained to do the work have gone the way of the Jews in times past.
So-called Christians have treated “sinners” as outsiders and refused to associate with them and adopted the idea that Christians can’t be “friends of sinners” or “eat with sinners and tax collectors” to use 1st Century slang. Christians have made pursuing God and being a member of His family into a religion, as the Jews did with Judaism. Both groups claim to serve the same God, Jehovah, but neither (those that are about religion as their god not Jehovah God) really do. They fear God because they really don’t know Him or have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. IF they did, they’d know that, yes, God is righteous and will judge sin, but they’d also know that He’s a kind, loving, merciful, gracious Master, Lord, Savior, King, Father, and Friend!
They are not true children or servants of the Most High God. They think that they are, but in reality, they aren’t. They will continue on as though they were and will find out come judgment day how sadly wrong they are. Let us refer back to Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount where he wrote, Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt. 7:21-23)
Notice that Jesus says that NOT EVERYONE who calls Him, LORD, will enter heaven. They will even go so far as to prophesy, cast out demons, and perform miracles ALL in the name of JESUS! Yet, they won’t enter into heaven. Why don’t they enter into heaven? They don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. They thought that doing good works would gain them entry. These people failed to remember that is by grace through faith that we are saved and not of personal works! It is the gift of God and not of anything we can do to save ourselves. These people did do “godly” things, but they didn’t do the will of God, as He commanded them to do. They did what they wanted rather than following the explicit, specific guidelines God gave them.
Now look back at our unprofitable (disobedient) servant. He served the “king” but didn’t do what he told him to do. When we read the passage from the Sermon on the Mount, we see Jesus declare that those who do the will of My Father [ the King] will enter the kingdom of heaven. Thus, we now know why Jesus will order all unprofitable, disobedient “servants” to be [thrown] into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. SO, what type of “servant” are you? Are you one who’s doing the will of the Father? OR, are you an unprofitable, disobedient servant doing your thing rather than what God commands? Think about it. IF you’re the former, God bless you and keep up the work of God. IF you’re the latter, then God have mercy on you and repent of your sins and be saved by His grace through faith in the sin-atoning blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead.
Father, there are times when I mess up and don’t do exactly as You’ve said to do. I have been disobedient in the past. I repented of my sins and asked for Your mercy and forgiveness through Your grace. You’ve been faithful to forgive me of all my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness because I’ve confessed my sins. Help me to carry out the mission You’ve set before me to the smallest detail. Help me to leave nothing undone. For it’s not by my human power or ability or might but by Your Spirit that anything I do for is done. He empowers me to be light in the darkness, to be salt to increase people’s desire for you when I am Your witness, to be Your emissary, to be Your earthen vessel to carry the Good News to the lost, and to be humble and obedient to You, My LORD and King! Never let it be said of me that I’m unprofitable because I didn’t do what You asked and expected of me. May Your will always be done and not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.