Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 15, 2012

“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."  Matthew 25:14-15
Let's review this part of the story:
The master, before he left on a long trip called his servants to leave them in charge of his fortune. He divided it up in an uneven way giving one servant five bags, another servant two bags and a third servant one.
Frankly, that sounds sort of unfair. Now, granted when you have eight bags and three servants the math gets a little tricky. But fairness would dictate that he divide them three, three and two.
But he didn't. In this parable the master represents God, so does this mean God is unfair?
Fairness has become an important value in our culture. It was a big issue in the recent Presidential campaigns. The Democrats promise to make outcomes more fair while the Republicans promised to make opportunities more fair.
Think of how much money and man hours and energy and legislation is invested in the attempts to make our society a fairer place.
There are a number of great truths in this well-known parable and among them is that God isn't nearly as concerned about fairness as we are.
Brad, are you saying God is unfair? No, I am not. I am saying to God fairness isn't as important as it is to us. God is beyond fairness - He is just and He is righteous which means that when all is said and done He will make everything perfectly fair.
Lest you unfairly accuse God of being unfair, consider several facts in this story:
1) The master owned all the gold so it his right to do whatever he wants with it. It would be unfair of you to tell him what to do with his gold!
2) He owned the servants, too! It was their duty to serve him by doing what he told them to do. A master had all the rights and his servants had all the responsibility.
3) The master wanted to increase his wealth not just preserve it. Who doesn't want to increase his wealth? You do! I do!
Considering that and factoring how the story ended, this master could have had a greater increase had he given all the gold to the five-talent servant. Think about it. The one with five got five more and the one with two got two more and plus the one equalled 14 bags of gold. But if he had given all eight to the one servant and he doubled it that would have added up to 16!
So, in fact, his attempt to be fair with his servants may have cost him some profit.
Like the master in the parable God is not unfair but He is more concerned with fruitfulness than He is with fairness. You should be too!
I think it is fair to say that we would all be better off if we worried more about fruitfulness and less about fairness. Thus saith the parable!