Wednesday, March 25. Matthew 25:14-30.
Today’s parable is one of those stories that can be interpreted in two radically different ways. Your interpretation depends upon one key factor. Who does the master represent in the story?
Option A: The Master Represents God
Interpretation: God gives everyone gifts. When Jesus returns we will all be judged on how we use our gifts. If you squander your gifts, then you are worthless for God and will be thrown into the outer darkness. God is a hard master who rewards hard work and punishes lazy and fearful people.
Option B: The Master Represents How We are Currently Running the World
Interpretation: Jesus’ parables, in this section of Matthew, are describing how the typical human power structures have distorted God’s Kingdom on Earth. Most of our systems are built upon greed and power. The Master expected his slaves to produce for him. He rewards those who have by giving them more, and he takes away from those who do not have anything and give the little they do have to those who have the most. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The key to option B is in how the One Talent Man responded to the master. He said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.” This servant stood up in protest against the injustice of his master, and he was punished for it.
Those who would follow Option B would say that Jesus stands with the One Talent Man. He stands in solidarity with those who have been abused by the destructive power structures of the world, and was willing to be thrown into the outer darkness with them and for them. This is our example, and our salvation. (Listen to my sermon about this passage here.)
Which option do you think is right?