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Then a third servant comes forward. It turns out, his fear kept him from doing anything with what he was given. He certainly recognizes the preciousness of the coin, but he chokes.

Don’t we all do this? Battle with "what if"?

What if we don’t do it right?

What if we don’t do enough?

What if we lose the gift all together?

But it doesn’t work that way. The gift is itself the opportunity. There is no wrong way.

Except maybe neglecting the gift. The servant's failure is his choice to tuck it away.

It’s important to note here that the servant names his own judgement. His punishment is self-inflicted. "I know you to be harsh" he says and the queen responds with "you think you know me". The master gawks at the servant’s description of her demeanor and the result is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The servant’s relationship with the master is cut off because he expects it.

Jesus wants us to know he isn't interested in who's in or out. This parable isn't about who goes to heaven or hell. He wants us to understand the grim reality of neglecting to participate in this Kingdom movement he is starting. Jesus' claim is that your life will never see what potential it has when we chose to follow a way of life other than his.

We can experience the joy of our Master here and now. But we all have a choice. We can ignore the beautiful life he's calling us to, or we can join in and multiply these coins we've been given.


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