This parable does not justify a gospel of economic prosperity. Instead, this parable challenges believers to be like their Master by using all that God has given them for the sake of the kingdom. The parable is where He instructs his disciples to endure and maintain through difficult times and to live in anticipation of the Lord’s return. All the parables in this section, ensure the certainty of the Lord’s coming and how the disciples are to live in the meantime.
This parable recalls the parable of the faithful and wise servant who continues to do the work of the master until the master comes. Although the master is delayed, he arrives to find the wise servant doing the tasks that have been appointed to him in the master’s absence. The foolish servant, however, neglected his work and abused his power. He receives severe punishment.
In the parable of the talents, the master entrusts his servants with his property, and punishment awaits those who have failed to carry on the master’s work.
The parable of the ten maidens is similar because like the parable of the talents it portrays the kingdom of God. The kingdom is not a man on a journey, but the story illustrates how the disciples are to wait until the Lord comes.
In this text for Sunday a wealthy man prepares for a journey and had entrusted his servants with a portion of his property in order that the servants would use their abilities, abilities that had helped the master in the past to turn a profit for his lord. The third servant was too afraid to take a risk. Risky behavior was part of the master’s business. Instead, he attempted to secure his own well-being. In the end his unfaithfulness to carry on the master’s work cost him severely.
In its setting, Jesus tells this story to His disciples (24:3) to prepare them for the days ahead when their faith will be tested. This parable depicts how the disciples are to demonstrate faithfulness as they anticipate the return of the Lord.
How do we remain faithful in a time of waiting? In Matthew’s Gospel faithfulness is practicing the ministry of Jesus. Jesus has announced the arrival of God’s kingdom by feeding the hungry, curing the sick, blessing the meek, and serving the least.
All of us who would follow Jesus, are to preach the good news of the kingdom to the whole world by going about the work that the master has called them to do. This work includes visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, and feeding the hungry. Those of us who remain faithful may hear their Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Join us on Sunday as we talk about a “Disciple’s Syllabus For Stewardship”.
“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!” Peace, Pastor Nelda
Reverend Dr. Nelda Barrett Murraine is pastor at First United Methodist 229 W 4th St. Kennedale, 76060