In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus shares the Parable of the Three Servants. Before their master left for a long trip he gave each of them bags of silver “dividing it in proportion to their abilities.” Two of these servants invested this money and made more for their master, while the third buried his share of silver in a hole.
Matthew 25:24-27 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
Matthew 25:29-30 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.
The first time I read this parable I felt bad for that servant who was scared of his master. I sided with him as well. I mean, after all we are supposed to fear God, right? Of course he hid it. What if he lost it. Or what if he never came back, maybe he’d inherit that money for himself. So many what if scenarios it made me dizzy.
But then I looked at it as if that master was God, those coins were the seeds He gives us to plant for the harvest and those servants were you and I. If we keep those seeds for ourselves, away from harm, safe from all the what if scenarios, how would they ever make it past that state? If we hold those seeds in our hands how would they ever reach their intended destination. We are called to plant seeds not hoard them. This fear we are to have is not to paralyze us and excuse us from the service we were called for. We should be scared of inaction, of hearing ourselves described as useless servants and striving to be good and faithful servants.
The kind of religion that God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless “wouldlings”-those weak inclinations that lack convictions-that raise us but a little above indifference. God, in his word, greatly insists that we be in good earnest, fervent in spirit, and that our hearts be engaged vigorously in our religion;”Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11) – Jonathan Edwards
Engaged vigorously in our religion. Not doing what you think is necessary to keep up with the people pleasing. Not filling your schedule with church activities while ignoring the emptiness in your heart. Not memorizing chunks of scripture with no meaning or feeling behind it. Not holding the title of servant while burying your master’s coins or hiding his seeds, but engaged VIGOROUSLY!
If we all held these seeds, trembling with fear of our master, how would there ever be a harvest? Let them go! Scatter them, plant them, sow them, water them and prepare for the harvest.