Summary: If you say to someone, This is the parable of the talents what might they think you are talking about? A parable about great athletes? A parable about a great musician? A parable about a great businessman
If you say to someone, This is the parable of the talents what might they think you are talking about?
A parable about great athletes?
A parable about a great musician?
A parable about a great businessman
I could go on with others. The fact is that the word talent is derived from the word that in ancient Israel was a unit of measure. It’s value depended on whether it was copper, silver, gold or what ever. Today we use the word talent to describe someone with a great aptitude or gift. A talent can be and should be considered a gift from God.
But this parable is clearly about money. right? Verse 15. To one he gave Five talents of money. So why am I talking about the talents we think of today. Jesus spoke in parables so that “He had had eyes would see and that he who had ears would hear.” The parables were a way of teaching the disciples of ancient Israel as well as the disciples of modern times. So you say “Well then tell us what is the point of this parable?” The point of this parable is crystal clear. God gives us many unique abilities that are to be improved and invested in the building of his kingdom through ministry and service to our fellow human beings.
Now you say “Ok, explain to us why you think that.” Ok I will. The declaration of independence says that All men are created equal. It is what many call a western way of thinking. But what does that mean? We all have the same body temperature 37.6. Our blood is red. We all have a brain. There has never ever been a brain transplant ever performed. But not two people have the same fingerprints. Not even twins. We all also have different abilities.
Now listen again to verse fifteen. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. Listen again EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITY. Who knows better than the person that created you what your abilities or your talents are? Who, not you, no one knows better than God. He gives each according to his or her ability. Does that mean that if you are not able then God does not bless you? Absolutely not.
I can’t sing. I try but I just don’t sound good. There are many people in here that sing so wonderfully they brighten the day.
Now, the last part of the verse. Then he went on his journey. God gives us gifts according to our ability and then he leaves us alone. NO he does not abandon us. He is always there to guide us and put us back on the path if we ask. BUT ONLY IF WE ASK.
He could if he wanted to, he could exercise his ability to have total control in micro managing our lives. As parents we could if we wanted to, have total control in managing our children’s lives. But we slowly and gradually relinquish control so that our children will share in the joy of learning responsibility.
God is wonderful enough to entrust us with our own lives. We have total control of our lives. We must invest our abilities and enjoy the reward of living productive lives. Ok, he gives us abilities and leaves but in verse 19. We find that the master returns. Folks who has come and will come again? Jesus Christ our Lord. The triune God has created, he has come to save, he has given us talents and, he helps us to invest them, and he will come again to settle accounts with us.
Let me ask you this. Do you want to be the person that buried your ability?
God trusts us with so much responsibility. So what do we do? We say ok God, but show us the way. This is ok to start, but in many cases he has already given us enough guidance already for our role as faithful stewards. We keep looking for God to just write it in the sky or make it happen for us.
You might very reasonably ask “Well how do I know what God wants me to do?” The answer is quite simple “Pray” But you just said that we want the answer given to us plainly. “Yes.” Pray about it. Wait for his reply. When you get it, do not fight it. It may not be what you want to hear but it will be what God knows you are capable of doing. Please excuse me for using myself as an example here, but I feel it is very appropriate. For a long time, I kept thinking to myself. I don’t like the way my job is going, I need a change. Then a thought would pop into my head “Become a Pastor.” I would laugh at first and say “I can’t do that. That is for really good Christians and I am not a really good Christian. I much preferred to miss church then miss the State of origin. I felt that church should work around football. The thought became more frequent and it became what we refer to as a gut feeling. I had a gut feeling that I would one day be a Pastor. I had no idea how. I mean you have to go back to school for that sort of thing. And don’t pastors have some sort of special connection to God. I certainly did not have a special connection.