The many parables in this passage are all stories I have heard from childhood on, so they were familiar to me. I thought about them and each lesson associated with them. I picked them apart, but I had a hard time trying to tie them together. The lessons seemed to go here and there like a frog jumping from one lily pad to another.
The answer finally came to me after I wrote them on a page, took a step back and saw the non-obvious blur together to become united in one simple theme: pride vs. humility.
Everyone who chased riches or stature served as a slave to worldly possessions or fame. Their relationship with God took a backseat in their lives, thus showing little faith. Riches in the present time was their master. While feeling fulfilled momentarily, their eternal treasures with God were empty.
Those who humbly followed God, worrying little about money or status and focusing on His kingdom to come, would be cared for much in this life and much more in heaven and eternity.
Jesus said that one who has faith as small as a mustard grain (Google image that) can have a profound impact, with God’s Spirit. And God will help us grow in faith when we slave for Him rather than for riches. We will also be lauded in front of all toward the end.
Essentially, the humble will become mighty and the prideful will become nothing.
To become a slave to God in this life is difficult as we live in a nation of excess and materialism. No one likes to be looked down upon for lack of funds, current styles, or housing. So we work hard and diligently to attain such things.
If we worked as hard for God and the advancement of His kingdom, the rewards would be much greater.