“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.” (Matthew 25:29-30, NLT).
One of the parables Jesus told in response to questions from His disciples about the end of the world and when it will occur was about a man leaving on a journey who entrusted his business to his servants while he was gone.
He gave five bags of silver to one, two to another, and one to another, each according to his ability.
The servant with five bags of silver invested it and gained five more, the servant with two gained two more, but the servant with one hid it in a hole in the ground.
When the master returned and settled accounts with them, the servants receiving the five and two reported they gained the same amount back and the master rewarded them accordingly.
The servant burying his money returned it and the master rebuked him for not making any interest on his money and gave his one bag of silver to the servant with ten.
Jesus told this story as a warning to his disciples that they should be occupied with the business of advancing His Kingdom until He returns to claim it. But, in retelling this story, we commonly highlight the achievements of the faithful servants to the neglect of the unfaithful servant, who was really the focus of the story.
The parable reminds us that we must be good stewards of the gifts and abilities God gives us to advance His Kingdom.
In other words, we must be productive citizens of God’s Kingdom!
Now, if we interpret this parable to mean that the servants represent believers or disciples of Jesus, then the fate of the servant who received one bag of silver causes me some concern, even alarm!
It means that Jesus is essentially saying that whoever does not use their God-given gifts and abilities to be productive for the Kingdom of God will not only lose what God has given them, it will be given to productive citizens, and the unproductive ones will be cast aside or separated from God!
And, everyone who is productive will be given more, even to an abundance!
Depending on your theological position, either the unfaithful servant was never “saved” in the first place or he lost his “salvation” somewhere along the way because of his unfaithfulness.
Regardless of your theological point of view, you must conclude that this parable is a stern warning that a faithful servant must remain faithful to the end by remaining occupied with the business of advancing God’s Kingdom, be being productive for God’s Kingdom.
God has left the family business in our care. He expects us to run it for Him and be productive in running it until Jesus returns!