The Parable of the Talents
There is great reward for those who use their talents and gifts for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’
“The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30)
Pastor John’s Notes:
This preparation parable shows us that we must use the talents and abilities given to us for the expansion of his kingdom. It reveals a characteristic of God that we do not often hear about, which is that God is kind toward those who serve him and harsh toward those who do not respect him. Notice in the story that the master gives out talents in accordance with each person’s ability. This means that God never requires anything from us that we are unable to give. All we need to do is work with what we have been given. He also gives everyone an opportunity to serve, even those with the smallest talents can do something for the Lord and receive an equal commendation as those who were given much. But to do nothing is perilous.
Lord, teach me to serve faithfully with the talents, abilities, and resources you have given me. Let me not compare myself to others but focus my attention on my own responsibilities. Give me joy as I see the unfolding fruitfulness of my work. Set my eyes on the great reward yet to be for all those who serve you faithfully. And let me encourage others so that everyone can rejoice in the reward of faithful service.