4 - Does thinking about consequences change how we behave?
Ok just reread that and i am not choking anyone!!!
That's a relief!
One of the fascinating (ok confusing) things about parables is they are never intended to tell the whole story just to illustrate a particular point (or points).
One thing we see in this one is that the servant was scared of his master - who he was, how he behaved - and so this led to inaction. And he was criticised for it and thrown out for being worthless. Not a good result! The way he treated his servant was consistent with his servant's assessment of him.
We, however, serve a different master - one who loves us, cares for us, wants the best for us, wants us to be the best we can for others. One who doesn't give us more to do than we can cope with but gives us the ability to do what he calls us to do. And as we recognise the truth of that, we can be set free to work for him with what he has given us confident that, whatever happens, we will be loved by Jesus.
But that doesn't remove the responsibility to work for him - motivated by love and not fear.