Help My Doubt

Faith seeking reason- Mark 9:24

Great Expectations (6): Spiritual Spending

Read Luke 19:11-27.

The first thing I would like to do is offer to you my version of this parable if Jesus had spoken it to us in our generation:

“Once upon a time there was a famous Pennsylvania State Senator who left the state and traveled from the east coast to the west coast on a campaign to become President of the United States. Before he left his office in Pennsylvania he called together 10 of his aides. To each of them he gave $8,000 and said, ‘I want to see what you can do with this money until I return’.”

However, there were some wealthy foreign-exchange students attending Penn State University who did not like him and followed him from coast to coast opposing him. Nevertheless, he did become President and then he returned home to Pennsylvania.

Once he arrived he called for his aides, who had received $8,000 each, to see how much they had earned.

The first aide came and said, “Your honor, your money has increased from $8,000 to $80,000”. “Great work!” the President replied.  “Because I can trust you with $8,000, I will now trust you as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

The second aide came in and said, “Your honor, your money has increased from $8,000 to $40,000”. Again, the President replied, “Good job. You will be my Director of Homeland Security”.

Then one of the other aides came in and said, “Your honor, here is the $8,000 that you gave me. I kept it safely hidden in a sock under my mattress. To tell the truth, I kept it hidden because you intimidate me. I know that you are a very demanding man, even taking money that is not yours and harvesting crops you did not plant.”

The President replied, “Well, I am going to judge you by your very own words- you lazy liar! So, you say that you ‘knew’ that I was a demanding man, right?! Wouldn’t someone who thinks their boss is a ‘demanding man’ at least put his money in the local bank, so that when I came back, I could my $8,000 with a tiny ¼% interest?”

Then the President spoke to the others who were listening and said, “Take his $8,000 away and give it to the one who has $80,000.” “But sir,” they replied, “he already has a truck load of money. How fair is that?”

The President answered them by saying, “I am fair! Whoever does well with what I give them will get even more; but whoever does nothing will loose everything.”

“But what’s even worse”, the President said, “are those who were invited to become citizens but, instead, opposed me when I went away to become President. Since they don’t want me, cancel their Visas, and send them back where they came from- forever!”

Before we talk about money we must understand that the money in this parable is symbolic. This is not, primarily, a teaching about money. This is a parable about waiting.

While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once (Lk.19:11).

The main point about this parable is that Jesus was going away and he expected his servants to do something while he was gone.

For example, when I was younger my parents finally decided to let us kids try to stay home alone while they went out together. They weren’t sure they could trust us but they let us stay home as long as we agreed to do the (a) dishes, do our homework and be nice to each other. My sister quickly volunteered to be the local newspaper reporter because she took out a spiral notebook and began to write down everything we 3 boys did. On one occasion we put roller skates on and rode through the house. I remember fighting with my sister in my parent’s bed room, on skates, over a broom. We did (b) not do our homework or the dishes or been nice to each other. Obviously, we betrayed our parent’s trust.

We need to always remember that we have a Heavenly Father who has given us permission to live freely in our homes but he expects us to follow His rules.  Specifically, what God expects us to do is use the power of the Holy Spirit in us to produce spiritual “fruit”. One type of fruit (a) includes, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control (Galatians 5:22)”. God expects, that when he returns, he will find us more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, more kind and more self-controlled”. Another type of fruit is (b) disciples. Jesus said, “go and make disciples of all nations (Mt.28:19)”. So when God returns, he expects to find that we will be able to show him that some of our children, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers and neighbors have also become disciples of Jesus. If we have then we will be rewarded; if we have not then we will loose our reward.

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October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Sermons

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