Playing the Fool, Holding the Bag

August 6, 2019

He said, “That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”Luke 19:26 MSG

Luke recorded Jesus’s story of a wealthy master who puts his servants in charge of his money and property while he is away on a trip. He wants them to handle what he has given them well. When he returns from his lengthy trip, he evaluates the stewardship of his servants. He assesses according to how well each one did in making wise investments of his resources, obtaining a profit. Clearly the master expected profit from the servants' oversight of his money, and the master rewards the three according to how each has handled his assignment. He applauds and promotes two servants for the risks they took, the investments they made, and the progress they made. He calls them faithful. Then the conversation with the third worker was very different.

As soon as the master addressed the third servant, the man replied, “Master, here’s your money safe and sound. I kept it hidden in the cellar. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid. I know you have high standards and hate sloppiness and don’t suffer fools gladly.”

The master said, “You’re right that I don’t suffer fools gladly—and you’ve acted the fool! Why didn’t you at least invest the money in securities so I would have gotten a little interest on it?” Then he said to those standing there, “Take the money from him and give it to the servant who doubled my stake.”

All the stories Jesus told had one point. He made this point clear: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up losing everything important.” This call to risk our comfort and security to follow Jesus and build His kingdom is clear and consistent all through the story of Jesus. So is the promise of His presence and His reward. Millions have proven that His word is true: The reward is more than they dreamed! Other millions have been left holding an empty bag. Playing it safe is the biggest lie; it doesn’t work. It’s not safe. We lose big.

  • Consider this: “I have held many things in my hands and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” – Martin Luther
  • Is there anything in your life now . . . talent, a resource, a relationship . . . that you are unwilling to place in His hands? Why? Talk to Jesus about it.