The stories Jesus told were shocking, insulting, provocative, challenging, disrupting, unsettling, and frightening. They were anything but sweet, comforting, simple, and trite. In these short stories we experience the creative genius of Jesus as he crafts stories and examples intended to provoke a reaction... and let me warn you, "indifference", is not an option!
Today we will look at The Parable of the Reckoning. It's the shocking tale of 3 slaves, 3 fortunes, and 2 shockingly different fates. It is a tale told at the expense of the religious conservative. Just maybe they can be "shocked back to life" as they hear this...
SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 25.14-30
14 “For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two. 18 But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them. 20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.’
21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
22 “He also who got the two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.’
23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. 25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. 27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. 28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who has not, even that which he has will be taken away. 30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
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