The Parable of the Talents.
Do me a favor and read this first.
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:14-30 NASB)
When we read this story it’s hard to believe that Jesus was the one telling it. What was he trying to tell us? On the surface it seems like a very hard man that was overly harsh on one of his slaves for not earning him extra money, but if you dig a little deeper you will see a valuable lesson here.
The talents themselves in this story are symbolic of several things. Our God given abilities, our personal talents God gave us, or they are just a item used to show us something much deeper. Now look at the slaves. Why did he give 5 talents to one, 2 to another and 1 to the last? This is where we get into some interpretation because there is nothing officially written about it. Maybe this master knew these slaves and he knew not to trust the last one as much as the other two. I don’t know but there must have been some reason.
What is the difference here between the slaves and their actions.
The first 2 take action, the third is afraid. The master never told them what to do or how to do it. He never gave them instructions of any kind.
Yet 2 took the initiative and took a risk and were rewarded for it. The last was afraid and did nothing, he didn’t lose any of the money but he didn’t act at all and was punished for it.
Now apply this to your life. God is our master. He is calling us to be brave with all we are given, I’m not talking about taking risks that are frivolous or self serving. But Godly ones, morally right ones. I am really convinced God wants us taking risks in faith in his name and trusting him to guide us through those risks. Every character in the bible was not guided step by step by god never having to trust. They all had to trust and make decisions in life with out Gods guidance in the small specifics to how. They were acting on the things he has shown them and was doing the best they could to follow that line. God doesn’t micro manage our lives. If that were the case we wouldn’t need any faith just follow stupidly to each place he pointed.
This parable is a excellent example and its even by Jesus…. can’t get any better than that.
In these verse he is telling us to stand tall be brave and use what God has given you, shown you, or pointed you to through prayer to bring him glory. The master says that he could have at least put it in the bank and brought him the interest. But the man was so afraid he might lose what he was given he just buried it. We do the same thing every time when we take a skill we have or a path the God has laid at your feet and we baulk or make excuses as to why we are not going and moving. Its Fear. Fear is the biggest killer of blessings there is. Fear is evil. God placed a fear in us for self preservation in a life and death situation. Not fear of a Boss, or others opinions, or anything. God wants us to be BIG for him. What i mean by that is we get one shot at this life. ONE!!!!! One chance to find your talents and gifts and use them to help others and bring him glory. I don’t care if its a job or a career, a friendship or relationship. He wants us to reach…. stretch ourselves out side where we are comfortable. Reach in faith past our fears, past our doubts. I don’t believe that God places things in our way to stop us. It can happen sure but more often than not what is holding us back…. FEAR!!!!! of what??? others dislikes? loss of material things? Financial lose? Job Loss? If God has called you to use one of your gifts…. if you don’t use it or do what he is telling you. Your in sin. Period. Thats the unfiltered truth. Too many times we look as sin as being something we do. But it can also be something we failed to do. Thats the thing thats hard to admit. We can reason away opportunities missed or Procrastinated away…..been there done that could write the book on it.
Too many times we are faced with something at one time or another we felt God showed us something, told us to move in a direction or light an area of our lives we needed to move toward, but its new scary and a HUGE amount of unknown. So what do we do?? we think…..”hmmmm I’m not sure i heard that right. I think I might have gotten mixed up with God there.” We talk ourselves out of it.
Again I think God is softly asking us…. do you trust me? Its in those moments that we know. In our hearts we know but later we second guess ourselves out of it because….. duh its hard its scary. Fear has raised its head and the enemy has started to sink his teeth into you.
This is something we will struggle with until the day we die and go meet our Lord. fear is a battle. BUT!!!!!!… i can say this… the more you face your fears the lesser they become. You take away the things in fear that are only in our minds. You strip it of its most important tool. our mind. When your mind starts to see that our fears are not always as bad as it thinks they are. they get easier to face.
So look at this verse with a different eye and realize who is telling you this story and why. Fear is mentioned over 300 times in the bible. This is just one more example of how God is showing us the results of a fear lead life and that he wants us reaching in faith outside our comfort zones and trusting him and not our own ability to control our circumstances. Trust….. thats what he wants in us. Give it all to him and step in faith. sometimes two of the hardest things to do what the trials are in your face.