2/11/12 Nick, Cody both about 20
In preparation for an upcoming sermon based on the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25) I've decided to take an unusual approach. I've asking people on the street what they think of it. "Do you think God is like the master in the parable? Why/why not?" "What does it say about the Kingdom of Heaven" and "Who do you relate to in the parable?" etc. So far it has led to some interesting conversations. Two guys in a Burger King today - Nick and Cody - couldn't accept that God would punish the servant for hiding his talents. They went on to say that the parable is more about God testing us while we are here on this earth and rewarding us for the good things we do. "But what is the purpose of a test if the consequences are the same whether we pass or fail?" I asked. "Would there only be a reward or might people also be punished for their actions?" Though not usually seen as evangelistic in nature, I think this parable teaches some basic ideas about God that are required to understand the Gospel - that He is the Master and has every right to hold us accountable for our actions. That just as He will welcome his faithful servants to "Come and share your master’s happiness!" - He also has the right to "throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness". My questions about the parable led to a clear explanation of the Gospel. Naturally, Nick and Cory saw themselves as the good guys in the story, so I needed to go on to give them some "good person questions" based on the Ten Commandments to help them see things from the perspective of God's law before His grace in Jesus could make sense. As Nick and Cody agreed, they need to do some business with God - please pray for them!