Summary: How we use our gifts are more important than their monetary value. It isn't the size of the gift, it's the motive in the giving!
Not Our Talents BUT Our Use of Talents
This parable provides us with a message that can be and often is misunderstood. The talents referred to in the parable are monetary units. A talent was not really a coin at all but rather an ingot, weighing around 75 pounds. At that weight and in that day, I figure the value to be equivalent to about $30,000. Seventy-five pounds of gold today would be valued in millions.
So, no matter how we look at it, we are talking about some serious wealth here. Bear in mind that Jesus is using a parable to make a point. Just to make another point, read on:
“All the gold that was used in all the work of the holy place, that is, the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred and thirty shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary.” Exodus 38:24
You do the math, it boggles my mind.
Another quick side note: We read in Revelations of hail stones falling from the heavens, each stone weighing a talent.
“And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.” Revelation 16:21
Now that we have a better mental picture of what a talent is, let’s get on with the message.
We have three servants, each with different abilities or aptitude. The master prepared to go on a journey but first gave each of the servants a powerful gift, which in fact provided them with unbelievable opportunities to gain in wealth but also to do good among men. After all wasn’t this just such an opportunity for them.
In verse 15, we read that they were given according to their ability. The first was given five talents. That’s 375 pounds of gold. The second received two talents or 150 pounds of gold and the third received one talent or 75 pounds of gold.
Beloved, we have received blessings in from time to time, in one form or another. What have we done with those blessings? We truly need to reflect on what Jesus is trying to get through to us here.
The first servant went out and traded up his five talents and now has ten talents. The second servant also doubled his talents to four. The third servant did nothing with his single talent, he buried it to keep it safe.
After a time, the master returned and asked for an accounting.
Let’s pause again to keep things in perspective. In verse 15 we read that the master “gave” each servant according to his own ability. Now we read in verse 18 a reference to “his lord’s money”. In the first part, there is no instruction or guidelines and nothing to reflect anything beyond a gift. So now, why is the master asking for an accounting. This is very important and perhaps the most meaningful point in the parable. EVERYTHING belongs to our Master. We may be given unfettered use of God’s gifts, but we do have a responsibility to use them for HIS glory and for the Kingdom.
To squander them on frivolity, indecency, illegality and inane pursuits is something that we will answer for one day. Our Mater, The Lord Jesus Christ is going to return. When He does, he will have us account for how we used or misused our blessings/gifts. Finally, we see a parallel between the weight talent and the ability talent. How are we using our gifts? The gift of: music; prophecy; healing; teaching; preaching; finance; love; evangelism; servanthood; on and on and on? If not for His glory than for whose? That is a question that He will seek an answer to.
“ and cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.” Verse 30.
Let us pray