The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.15 To one he gave five talents,t to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.20 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.’21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.t You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 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.’23 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.’24 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,25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’26 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?27 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.28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.29 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.30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (English Standard Version)
In keeping with this section we find the parable of the talents. This is probably the most familiar to us all. It has as its backdrop the return of Jesus and what our efforts for the Kingdom have been while he’s been gone. It does say in the passage that “after a long time” the master returned. We find ourselves in that time period where Jesus has been gone for a long time. And yet some day he is going to return, or we are going to die and face him. The big question Jesus will ask us is, “What have you done with what I gave you?” Based upon that question will we hear those dear words every Christ-follower who is thinking about that moment longs to hear, “Well done.” There is even provision for someone who really doesn’t know what to do with what they’ve been given. The Master says to the one who hides his talent. You could have given it to the banker to earn interest. In other words, ask someone to help you invest your talent. The Master isn’t asking for much, just some return on the investment will get the “Well done” in the end.
I’ve been reading the 66books entries and thinking about the return of Christ. As I recall our Matthew passages of the past several days. There are two things I have been convinced of. First we need to be watchful. What if he comes today? Will we be surprised. Second, the way to not be surprised is to stay faithful and work for the Kingdom of God with what talents and gifts he as given you. Hard to do isn’t it? First to stay alert so I am not surprised at his coming. Second to be a good steward of what I’ve been given. I did the funeral for a friend of mine who wondered if he was going to hear the “Well done”! We met several times before cancer took his life and his thoughts turned to having done enough to hear those words when he stood face-to-face with Jesus. What have we done with what God has given us? Are we using those gifts and talents to further his Kingdom today and tomorrow and the next?
Father God I want to hear those words, “Well done!” I pray I would stay watchful and faithful till you come or take me home to be with you. Thank you for the talents and gifts you have given me. Help me to use them to further your Kingdom today. In Jesus strong name I pray, Amen.