Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:6a)
Jesus loved His disciples to the end. He faced up the coming of the cross where He had to be sacrificed for sins of all including His disciples and each one of us. Jesus poured His love on the disciples by continuously revealing the truth about the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus again taught His disciples about the kingdom of Heave by telling a parable.
There was a master who was about to go on a long trip. Before leaving, he called together his three servants to entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He called the first servant, and gave five bags of gold. Then he gave two bags of gold to another servant. Finally, he gave one bag of gold to the last. He divided up his money in proportion to their abilities. Then he left a long trip.
The man who had received five bags of gold went to the market at once because he loved his mater. He truly appreciated what was entrusted to him – five bags of gold, which was the biggest among the three chosen servants from many servants under his master. He had never forgotten what was told by his master. He worked very hard to make his master’s money grow. His business went well, and he could make another five bags of gold. He was really faithful and capable servant to the master.
The second servant also went out with the two bags of gold received from his master. He also loved his master, and his heart was full of thanks to his master. He also worked hard to make his master’s money work in market. His effort was paid off. He could make another two bags of gold. He was joyful to think about his master who would be happy about what had happened to his money, which was doubled. Although he could not gain as much as the first servant who made five bags of gold, he made 100% return out of his master’s money.
The third servant, who got one bag of gold, did not do anything on the first day. He was thinking about what to do with one bag of gold. He heard a rumor of the economy downturn. He felt that if he invested his master’s money on the market, there would be a high probability that he might lose his master’s money rather than gaining. He analyzed again and again till night. He could not sleep through the night because he worried about the master’s money. Even so, he could not get to a really good idea. Finally, the day was dawning. It made him feel miserable. He did not sleep at all, but still he had no idea – what to do with the master’s money. He was always afraid of his master. He always felt that his master was strict and merciless. For his point of view, it was not an option to lose his master’s money. Then he decided to hide the bag of gold by digging a hole in the ground. He put the money in the hole, and put dirt back so that nobody could know that there was one bag of gold. The precious bag of gold was buried in the ground.
After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
His master was truly joyful when hearing the first servant, and replied, ‘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!’
The first servant who made five additional five bags of gold was so happy too. He heard the master’s praise. Making additional five bags of gold was not easy. All of the days were not always good. There were bad days too. One really day, he lost most of the money entrusted by the master from trading because the market so rapidly moved to a completely different direction. He could not sleep that night due to the huge loss of the day. He had a temptation to give up, but he could not. He could see his master’s face who was always good to him. Especially, he reminded in his heart that the master specially entrusted him most among many servants in the master’s house. Thus, he got the most of the gold bags among the three. As matter of fact, he got more than the bags of gold received by the other two servants combined. Really, he could not give up. He knew it was his mistake caused him to get the huge loss, but he decided not to lose the hope. He prayed, and went back to the market. He worked hard on the following day. His hard work on the following day made a small gain. He worked hard day after day with focusing on his hope and desire to please his master. His money slowly grew back. His patience paid off. The money continued growing, and surpassed what he originally received from the master. He was amazed, but he could not relax. He learned the painful lesson of losing the master’s money, and recovering from the loss. Thus, he continued working hard everyday while fixing his eyes on his goal and imagining his master who would be so happy when he showed his gain with the master’s money. The master’s money grew and grew everyday. Eventually, it grew to the worth of ten bags of gold.
The second servant with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ His master joyfully replied, ‘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!’
The second servant was truly joyful also because he heard the master. His heart became really happy and bright. He also had a difficult time like the first servant. He had sleepless nights due to the money entrusted by the master. It was a journey. Sometimes the market went up, and so was his master’s money. Sometime the market went done. His master’s money was down also. Losing his master’s money made him stay up night, while thinking about how to recover from the loss of the day. Like the first servant, he did not give up and was persistent. He had the same hope and desire of making his master happy. On the following day, he went to back to the market, and worked hard like the first servant. He could steadily make gains little by little till the money doubled. He ended up manage four bags of gold instead of the two bags of gold that he was originally entrusted. It made possible for him to present two additional bags of gold to his master. When he heard the master’s praise, he could forget all of his toils, hardships and those low times because he was comforted by the master’s voice.
Then the third servant who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
He was so afraid of the master. This fear kept him from doing anything. Thus, his objective was not to be blamed by the master. He knew there was always a chance to lose money while investing money. His fear of losing money completely dominated his heart. In reality, there were more chances to gain money in the market. In order not to be blamed by his master, he decided to hide the money and to return the money when his master returned. Surely it was the safest approach. He would not lose the master’s money, even a single dime. It was a perfect plan for the third servant. Once he made up his mind, and he hid the money. Then he relaxed and enjoyed his own life. He was no longer connected with the bag of gold entrusted by his master. Sometimes, he heard that the other two servants worked so hard in the market. He did not care. When he heard a bad news that the other two servant made loss due to the unexpected market turn. He even told to himself, ‘See. What I was done was right. There is no way to loose any portion of the master’s money because it was hidden safely under the ground.’ He was always happy without doing anything for his master. He just enjoyed his own life. He felt wiser than the other two servants. He continued enjoying his own life, relaxing without doing anything.
On the other hand, his master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Yes, his master expectation was completely different from the third servant. He entrusted his servants and gave bags of gold according to each one’s ability, because he wanted for the three servants to work hard according to each one’s ability. The third servant completely missed the point. He did nothing and wasted his precious time by enjoying his own life. His master could not stand any longer.
He ordered the people attending him, ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.’ The master’s order was stern and urgent. The people attending the mater took the bag of gold from the third servant’s hand, took away the third servant from his house, and gave to the first servant with ten bags of gold.
Jesus concluded the parable, ‘For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
This parable is not so hard to understand in the context of the Kingdom of God. In the parable, the master is Our God. The three servants are us. As the master chose three servants, God chooses us. Then our God provides each of us unique talent(s) to do good for His kingdom — one of us with a beautiful voice to praise God, one with lots of wisdom to reveal the truth of God and salvation, one with hospitality to serve others, one with a loving heart to love others in all circumstances, one with a great faith to overcome all life troubles, one with a heart of encouragement to encourage others, and one with charity to give out abundantly, etc. If one of us entrusted with a beautiful talented voice uses one’s voice for one’s own pleasure only, then what’s good for the beautiful voice that comes from God? God distributed various talents to various individuals to complete His plan on earth. If not, why dose God provide a unique talent to each of us?
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Oneness and Peace in Christ. (Ephesians 2:10)