Podcast: 19 November 2020

Good morning and welcome to Thursday’s podcast. A huge huge thank you to George, our Intern here at STC, for his awesome reflections yesterday. How good is it to hear different voices sharing on this platform?


Today’s passage is Matthew 25:14-30. Like the three passages before it, this is the last big block of Jesus teaching where he explains to his disciples about what it is to come and in light of that how they should live in the here and now.

To do that Jesus tells his disciples another parable. We know it well but here’s a quick summary. There was master who was leaving his house to travel, and, before leaving, he entrusted his property to his servants. According to the abilities of each one, one servant received five talents, the second received two, and the third received one. Upon returning home, after a long absence, the master asked his three servants to give account for the talents he had entrusted to them. The first and the second servants explained that they each put their talents to work, and had doubled the value of the property with which they were entrusted; each servant was duly rewarded with more: The third servant, however, went and dug a hole and hid his talent. The masters response to his actions was scathing. Subsequently, that servant was stripped of his responsibility, his lot was given to the first servant and he was then severely punished for his wastefulness.

What is this parable showing us about who God is? What does this mean for us today?

What does this show us about God?

Verse 14… “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.”

That word ‘entrusted’ signifies more than just giving, it’s the voluntary releasing of power into the hands of another. Way back at the point of creation, God gives Adam and Eve ‘dominion’ over creation. In other words, God gives human’s authority over the world’s resources and says, ‘Go make something of it’. As we read in the Psalms, ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ but he hands over the responsibility of caring for it, nurturing it, developing it and growing it to us! Wow! How generous and trusting our God is? And yet God is so committed to the human project that this act of giving he takes even further and more powerfully when he gives us himself, he gives us his Son, that might we might know the Father’s generous heart and total commitment to his creation.

That’s just a snapshot of what this parable shows us about who our God is but what about us? What is God looking for from us? Reading from verse 21: 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!’

Our generous and committed God is looking for faithful people. ‘You’ve been faithful with a few things’ we read. God entrusts us, gives us things which are to faithfully steward – gifts/skills, money, relationships, possession, position, influence, time to name just a few. Each of us are entrusted with different things; some with more than others. But even so – think about the servant given one talent – the value of that is incredibly substantial, in today’s money maybe nearly half a million pounds. God is so flipping generous. He’s given us so much. All that we have….it’s a gift!

This season has been such a hard one and in so many ways we feels as if we’re experiencing a limited life right now but the encouragement here is to look at what we do have, what God has given each of us and to give thanks. We’ve been blessed.

But the flipside is of course that we are called to go and do something with what we have. We are blessed so that we bless others. But we don’t always feel like that, do we? One of my reflections in this season where things have been stripped back is that it’s enabled me to see more clearly where my heart has become complacent about that which God has given me and perhaps maybe where I should be investing more of myself in. I wonder if that’s the case for others too listening today? Maybe it’s how we are parenting our kids, relating to our neighbours, approaching our job. Maybe it’s how we are using our finances. We can’t really get away from the fact that this passage is referring to where we are investing our capital!

The image of the third servant is perhaps all the more apt in a time where it feels like such is the climate of fear and uncertainty right now that we are compelled to protect and cling ever more tightly to the little that we do feel that we have.  How easy it might be for us to find ourselves digging when God longs to see his children giving? Being faithful is of course about looking after that which God has given us…. but if it stops there it’s tantamount to wastefulness if we aren’t doing something with it.

God, what are you showing me today about that which you have entrusted to me? In this season show me how can I be a more faithful servant and steward your gifts to me well?


Father, we thank you, we praise you for the gift of your love to us this day. Thank you Lord for all that you have given us. Release within us the joy of thankfulness in the difficult season. Teach us and show us how we might be more faithful with that which you have entrusted us with this day. Amen.

BIBLE READING: Matthew 25:14-30

‘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.”