September 4

Text: Matthew 25:24-27

"And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed.  And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.'  But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed.  Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.”   (NASB)

Again, note that the ability of the slave is not the problem, nor the amount of money he managed, nor what he returned to his Master.  The problem arose from his attitude toward his Master.  That determined his behavior.  The first two slaves voiced none of the last slave’s views of the Master.  The last was afraid of the Master.  The first two respected him.

What was the last slave’s opinion of the Master?

  1. He was a hard man.

  2. He reaped where he did not sow.

  3. He expected a yield where he planted no seed.

That would indicate the slave’s view of his Master was that he was an unjust, difficult man who expected something for nothing.  The Master was upset (significantly) when a “no investment” situation failed to produce a profit. 

The seeming reasoning of this slave: “If the Master is upset when he invests nothing, his potential for being upset with me is enormous!  He cannot be pleased!  Wisdom dictates that I do nothing—take no risk!”  Success was giving back exactly what he was given—that would please his Master.

The Master was upset because of the slave’s evaluation of him!  “If you believed that of me, you should have let an investor pay me interest on the money.  With your ability, you were extremely foolish!”

How do you personally see Jesus—as unreasonable or as kind?

Suggestion for reflection: Is Jesus hard or compassionate?  What is the meaning of your answer?  (Read Mark 6:30-34.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell