Matthew 25:14-28 Getting God Wrong

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 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.’

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!’

22 “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.’

23 “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!’

24 “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. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “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? 27 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.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Getting God Wrong

Jesus, it strikes me that when we come to you we don’t really know who you are.  We get you wrong.  We think of you as the sugar-daddy who will fix our problems; we think of you as the one who will remove our addictions; we think of you as a kind and careful servant pandering to our whims; we form you often in our own image.  Perhaps the worst distortion of you and your Father is the depiction of the cruel, self-obsessed tyrant.  I see this distortion of biblical understanding in popular works like the Brick Testament (http://thebrickbible.com/) where a man makes cute, Lego depictions of  biblical events but subtly makes God look fierce and angry and his servants look vengeful and cruel.  My own family struggles with the God of the Old Testament as if he were different than the God of the New Testament.  However, you and the Father are one and whoever has seen you has seen the Father.   The problem with the man who had less talents was not his work with the talent so much as his caricature of the one who gave him the talent.  He was afraid of the master, but he didn’t really know him at all.  It is good to be afraid of the Father, he is treated with far too much irreverence today.  However, he is loving and kind and not unjust.  Why do we make him so when we don’t get our own way or we don’t get as much as others from him?

Questions

  1. How does the servant with 5 talents perceive God?
  2. How does the servant with 1 talent perceive God?
  3. What happens to those who perceive God incorrectly?
  4. How does one get to know the true character of Go?
  5. Look through some stories in thebrickbible.com How does the author represent God?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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