“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.” Matthew 25:28-29
These two verses, given to us by Jesus, come from a parable about three servants who are each given bags of gold to handle for their master while he is away. One is given 5 bags, another is given 2 bags, and yet another is given 1 bag. The ones given 5 bags and 2 bags invested what they were given, and ultimately doubled their master’s gold. But the one given just 1 bag hid his gold and gave it back to the master with exactly what he was entrusted with. The master takes this bag of gold and gives it to the one who already has 10 as a reward for doubling his master’s money. Then Jesus says, “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.”
Now, I understand this seems really unfair. But, if we recognize the parable is about more than money, and rather about the lost souls of men and women who need to hear the gospel of Christ, then we can make sense of the master’s response. There is a mission to accomplish, and every day that we fail to make progress for Christ, people slip into eternity without knowing God. There is no time to waste maintaining what we have been given.
The master is not lacking in fairness, rather he is concerned with effectiveness. If resources and time are limited, then it only makes sense to place those limited resources with those who are most effective at accomplishing the mission. When our mission is the salvation of the world, effectiveness matters on an eternal level!
Our choice to be generous, when the Kingdom of God is at stake, matters on an eternal level. It should not surprise us that God would bless those who fund the work of His Kingdom with additional wealth. It’s should not shock us that God is an effective, brilliant distributor of resources. God places resources in the hands of those who distribute them as He desires. This should not lessen our devotion to Him, instead, it should motivate us. If our God truly owns all, and He does, then we should strive to show Him that we can be trusted with His work and His resources.
In the same parable, the master responds to his productive servants by saying, “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!” (Matthew 25:21). We should work hard and give generously in order to hear those words from our Master and Savior