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Luke 19 verses 20, 21. “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it hidden away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.”

Jesus taught that when he comes back again, he will call all his servants to account for what they have done with that with which he entrusted them. “What did you do with your intelligence? That was a gift from me!” “What did you do with your insight into human nature? That was a gift from me!” What did you do with your ability to relate to children? That was a gift from me.”

The faithful will be rewarded but it seems that the reward will be in terms of greater responsibility and increase in great joy and glory, in whatever the unimaginable new enterprise the Messiah has in store. What privileges await us. What joy, no matter what role we are given. We are not to imagine the coming glory as a time of rest and idleness. On the contrary there appears to be a lot of action in store as we work with our Saviour himself.

But in thinking about this, what about the people who have been unfaithful? What about them? There appears to be a person like this in this parable. He is mentioned in our verse for today, but he does present us with a problem. Why? Because in Matthew 25 vs 34-40 there is a similar character and there we are told that he was thrown into outer darkness amid weeping and gnashing of teeth. In that case he seems to be exposed as an unbeliever on that day. But this parable with which we are dealing is a different parable and here the unfaithful servant is treated differently. They took away his mina or pound or whatever your translation may use to describe the resource given to him. However it is not said that he was cast into outer darkness. You will also notice that in verse 27 there is a reference to “enemies” who are slain. But this man does not appear to be amongst them.

So was this man meant to represent a true believer or not? What is it about him that leads us to eventually see that very possibly this man Jesus refers to in this parable is not a true believer? The answer is plain, but it does lead us to think carefully about what we are reading and not to jump to conclusions.

We will look at this man again tomorrow.