“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. “He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(Matthew 25:14-30 ESV)
We are currently studying the Olivet Discourse – the information and instructions Jesus gave regarding the time between His two earthly advents. Yesterday we read a parable about how to properly wait for His return. Today we begin a parable about properly working until Jesus returns.
In this parable God compares Himself to a man who prepares to be away on a journey of an unspecified amount of time. Before going he called his servants and entrusted his property to them. Notice that the property belonged to the man, not to the servants. They were responsible for it. But he owned it and always would. Their responsibility was to take care of it while he was away.
Likewise, those who are part of God’s family are His servants and we have been entrusted with stewarding His property during our lifetime on this earth. Nothing here belongs to us. We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. Everything we ever have on this earth is a loan. We eventually have to give it back to God, its rightful owner [Deuteronomy 10:14, Psalm 24:1].
In the parable the man gave talents to his servants. While talent here refers to a money, it was actually a measure of weight. The value of a coin depended on its composition and mass. For example, a gold coin would be worth more than a bronze coin. Interestingly, it is from this parable that we get our modern concept of “talent” or skill/ability.
Notice that each of the servants did not get the same amount of talent to steward. One got more. One got very little. But each got according to his ability. And while the talent in the parable is money it would be reasonable to view talents as including time, skills, and authority.
Every Christian has received at least one talent from God and is expected to use it for Him. Unfortunately, the sin of pride causes some people to use their talents selfishly. The sin of envy causes some to desire the talents of others and abhor their own. Some don’t even realize they have a talent.
When someone allows us to take care of their resources they are telling us that they trust us and recognize our abilities. This is an important message every Christian needs to understand about God.
God does not look down upon us. He does not have a negative opinion of us. Too many Christians think that God is looking for reasons to whack them over the head or that He berates them because of their mistakes. Not true. He knows what we’re capable of and what we’re not capable of. His expectations of us are not unreasonable.
When we understand that we will recognize that it is an honor to be trusted by God and granted responsibility to steward what belongs to Him. When someone shows faith in us we have more confidence in ourselves.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.