#0052 Jesus feeds the 100 million?
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Scripture relevant to this post…
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it [the kingdom of heaven] 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, 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.’
Matt. 25: 14-30 (NIV)
The richest Americans acquired more wealth in two years than the bottom 100 million people combined!
Bernie Sanders (political ad)
In this posting I want to look at a parable Jesus told before He was captured by the Pharisees and subsequently turned over to the Romans to be crucified. I think the parables and words of council that came in the last week of His life on the planet are especially significant because He knew His time and opportunities to share were limited. The first story is another illustration of the Kingdom of God. This is the Parable of the Bags of Gold and it is a scripture that can easily be misconstrued and has been for centuries. The biggest challenge with it is the illustration Jesus uses is money. Conservatists are all about money and they like to paint the picture that God is all about money too. The problem with making this actually about making money is twofold 1) Jesus already preached that you can’t serve God and money; 2) this story would be advancing a spirit of competition and that competitive energy is the opposite energy given off by the Kingdom of God. For both of these reasons it would be counterproductive for Jesus to make such a comparison (amassing literal wealth) to the condition of His Kingdom. To bear this fact out even further, you need only to keep reading in Matthew and the parable which follows immediately after this one. (We will focus on that one tomorrow).
So if this parable isn’t really talking about gold, what is it talking about? What is Jesus attempting to illustrate here? Let’s try to tune into the bigger picture. Jesus’s story is telling about 3 servants to whom their master (God the Father) entrusts His bags of gold in varying measure. If we can deduce who or what the servants represent maybe that will help us. Are these servants types of individual persons (personality types); or could they represent types of organizations or institutions? Remember Jesus is telling this story in the last few days of His life. I’ve read, heard preached about, preached about myself and discussed with others this parable more times than I can count. I even included commentary about it in my book: The Jesus Clone; but up until now I was always a bit hazy on what it was that Jesus was specifically saying in this story. What each of these servants represents is an organization or grouping of His followers; that is to say churches or denominations of like-minded believers. In this analogy then the bags of gold represent the measurement of understanding of the concept of the Kingdom these denominations are able to accept and apply. In the parable, the servants (denominations) given the 5 and 2 bags of gold (the greatest and great capacities to understand and apply) were able to grow their capacities—even to the extent of doubling them. The servant who was given the least capacity to understand chose to bury it or lock it up in order to keep it safe and in doing this his capacity to understand and to expand this understanding was taken off the table. This 3rd servant represents groups not unlike the Evangelicals or the conservatists. Their mission by definition is to conserve or sustain—not expand—their understanding about God that was given to them way back when. In their extensive efforts to do this—block all growth and expansion of knowledge—they have managed to pervert the essence of their understanding into a small and narrow perspective which falls far short of the glory of God. Conservatist Rick Snyder lost sight of his calling as Governor of Michigan to govern the people of Michigan and to watch over their welfare; not to merely balance their state budget…
Notice in verse 26 where Jesus says: “… So [if] you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?” He is inferring that God is leaving it up to them as people with the spark of divinity within them to figure out and extrapolate upon the gospel message. And as they attempt this, Jesus promises that God will guide them in their efforts and they will expand the net worth of their divine equity. And, according to the lesson of this parable, not only is He allowing them to operate this way—He is commanding them to do so. But there is another group called progressives AKA: liberals and they a different, more expansive (Kingdom like) perspective that that of the conservatists. Bernie Sanders is part of that denomination…
TBC: Sunday, January 03, 2016