The Fearful Follower | Matthew 25:14-30

Mat 25:14 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.Mat 25:15He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.Mat 25:16"The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.Mat 25:17The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.Mat 25:18But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money.Mat 25:19"After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.Mat 25:20The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, 'Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.'Mat 25:21"The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together! 'Mat 25:22"The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.'Mat 25:23"The master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'Mat 25:24"Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, 'Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate.Mat 25:25I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.'Mat 25:26"But the master replied, 'You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn't plant and gathered crops I didn't cultivate,Mat 25:27why didn't you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.'Mat 25:28"Then he ordered, 'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver.Mat 25:29To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.Mat 25:30Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

There are a few things we should note about this parable before proceeding.

1. All of the players in this story are "servants", meaning they are all believers.

2. The silver represents the talents, abilities and resources that God (the man going on a long trip) gives us.

3. The talents are given with the intent that they should be multiplied.

4. The gist of the story is summed up in verse 29. If you use what you are given well, then you will be given (entrusted with) more. If you do nothing, what little you have will be taken away.

Are you afraid of God?

Believers today have done an excellent job of learning and teaching about the love of God. God is love. He gives it unconditionally and completely. His love is perfect and it is just. His love is a gift that we cannot earn...but we are held accountable for how we treat that gift. What we do with it, is how we are judged.

John 3:19-21And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. " [emphasis supplied]

Let me ask you again: Are you afraid of God? Should you be?

If we look at the parable above we see a scene involving a "fearful servant". He was afraid of his Master. Afraid of what he would do if he misused the small amount of responsibility that he was given. It was his fear that kept him from doing anything with the silver except hiding it in the ground.

So, what are some ways that we are afraid today?

  • I don't want to stand out or look different. If I give myself over completely to God He will make me "weird" and strange and I might be ridiculed.
  • I might have to do something that makes me uncomfortable. Knocking on the neighbors door and talking about Jesus is what those "weird" people do. That's not for me. I'll just make sure I'm really nice to people and that will be my ministry.
  • What if He asks me to give all my money to the poor? I don't trust Him enough to care for me so I need to hold on to what I have earned. Sure, I pay my tithe, but did Jesus REALLY want me to drop EVERYTHING and follow Him?
  • I don't want to give up that treasured sin. I'll submit some of me, but not all of me...I'm sure God will understand. Besides I gave up all those other things, He must give me some credit for that; right?

Fear always has it's roots in self protection. Selfishness is the root of sin. I'm not talking about the natural instinct to not walk off a cliff because you know it will kill you, I'm talking about that fear that keeps us from letting go of self so that Jesus can change us into His image once again.

Do you really think that when God created us in "His image" that that just meant our bodies. If we are created in His image then we were originally intended to love perfectly, just as He does. It is sin and the enemy that have made us into a false image of God. He wants to bring us back to that image, but we must surrender and give it over to Him freely. We must allow Him to change us back into what we were intended to be. And He will if we let Him.

He does it every day with common ordinary people. People who have overcome their fear "by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their Testimony". Don't let fear keep you from submitting to Jesus and allowing Him to change you. Use the talents He has given you to love others, do good to those who persecute you, heal the sick, cloth the naked, care for the widows and visit those who are in prison.

Ask yourself this question...How much have you been forgiven? How much "silver" was in your bag?

Luke 12:48But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.


Thank you Lord God for sending Your Son to take my place on the cross. I am amazed that Your love is so powerful. I am ashamed at my unbelief and I ask you today Lord to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Cover me with the blood of the Lamb. I receive today the gift of the Holy Spirit because You have promised that You will give that Good Gift. I want to have the Mind of Christ today.

Thank You for all that You provide in my life. Thank you for watching over my children and keeping them safe. Please bring them home to us Lord, safely and with You in their hearts. Thank You thank You for Jesus. Amen.

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