The Parable of the Bags of Gold is quite telling of our individual natures.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “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 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 man 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 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!’ “Then the man 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.’ “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. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 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.’ ~Matthew 25:14-30 NIV
Most people attribute this to economics and personal finances and however true that may be the main prominent point of this parable is that being ready for the Christ’s coming involves more than playing it safe and doing little or nothing. Unfortunately, most of us Christians do well at playing it safe by doing little to nothing, outside of going to church and attending bible studies. Admittedly so, I too am a lazy Christian! Does this blog, or any of the other blogs I do count toward getting the word out…to a degree it does, but what do we do in our personal lives? When someone has a religious question, or a doctrinal question, are we willing to put ourselves out there for all to see? This Christian life of ours demands of us the kind of service which will produce results. While this has to do with the handling of value, what is more valuable than the soul of a brother or sister?
Consider the fact that all too many people roll this parable, along with other tales, into a premise that Jesus was a socialist. But no, if Jesus were a socialist he would have forced his followers to choose his way, not have given them the choice. Also, take a good hard look at who has their wealth taken from them, who was it? Not the wealthy producer, nor the middle class producer, but the non-producer. We are taught & told to “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…” (ref Matthew 28:19) and so God wants us to be just as fruitful with souls, but he uses money because this is what we people find to be far more important in our lives. Back then and even today. The same philosophy applies, regardless if you are speaking about souls, money, wealth building, business creation, etc. you must work at it in order to build it up. We Christians have a grave problem within our own hearts by not learning to evangelize, learning apoligetics, studying for a better understanding of the bible, etc. Nor do we train our children up to quest for such knowledge. I grew up under Roman Catholicism, which is neither good nor bad, but my point being is that when I was growing up in the 1960s & 1970s I remember one priest stating, emphatically I might add, “You are not to read the bible, you are too stupid to understand the bible!” After entering in the military I left Catholicism which left me with more questions than answers, and no one to ask because priests never seemed to be that open for discussions. Instead, we all strive to give our children a better and easier life than what we had and I believe that is part of the problem. We should maintain some of the old ways in order to train up our children so they will learn, and learn with heart & soul. Like it was mentioned in the movie, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, stated by Jacob Marley’s ghost to Ebenezer Scrooge, “Mankind was my business!” Sometimes, we can really take a hint from the older movies, because their accolades are in their acting heart and not in their special effects.
If we take our time and delve into the meanings of the parables that the Christ taught us, we could learn much. Unfortunately, we don’t dig too deeply. Either we truly do not wish to know, or we just don’t want to learn and waste that much of our time away from our computers, phones, or our very intriguing television shows that just shower us with brilliant factoids that we need to know for school tomorrow! [sarcasm is free!]
God has so much to teach us, if we would be willing to study, research, and look into things. A far greater guidance to aid us in our lives than we could ever understand from our parents, teachers, professors, & peers…if we would be willing to listen. But first and foremost you must be submissive to God’s will and follow His ways. You must be willing to take the hard path, the one less traveled, so-to-say!
Some of you, if not many of you, are quite skeptical about all this, I suspect. Look at it this way: If my belief in God is a fallacy, then what happens to me? Absolutely nothing! And I lived my life according to a written standard, or moral code. On the other hand, if my belief in God is true and valid (which I believe it to be based upon archaeological data, historical data, textual understandings, as well as the other non-Christian proofs), then what happens to you? You are judged by God according to your actions, beliefs, statements, those you have trained to be just as skeptical as yourself, AND that judgement will land you in hell as your eternal resting spot…by your own choices. Do not try to blame God for your choices, he gave you a gift of free will for a purpose…to choose His ways and His standards, not your own temporal happiness. You have the choice to make, no one else; it is all up to you and you alone! God is not pulling your strings; although, He may want you to do something for Hims, in the case of Jonah the minor prophet, but, believe it or not, Jonah could have kept making the same decision time and again and at some point in time God would have used someone else for that task with the Ninevites. But that is my personal opinion.
Where do I start? There are a number of resources, a plethora as a matter of fact. Most importantly, START READING YOUR BIBLE ON A DAILY BASIS! You want to listen to the bible at work, get one, free or at cost, and download it to your mp3 player. Another good option is to download and listen to Dr J. Vernon McGee from Thru The Bible Radio program. I have always loved his perspective on the bible and much of his insight. His commentaries on the bible are very enlightening and his southern accent really puts you into that kind of mood! Start reading books that explain the various books of the bible or go to my blog on books to read, you just may find something that gets your attention. Just remember, “…Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Luke 11:9 But YOU have to take that first step of faith!
God Bless & Godspeed!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD