Summary: To aim for a prize more precious than Nobel prize!!!
Of patent, latent and talent
Quiz time, folks!!! Who invented the dynamite? Do I hear the answer …Alfred Nobel! Yes, it is him alright. In fact in 1867, Nobel received U.S. patent number 78317 for his dynamic invention. That this explosive instead of being used peacefully for blasting the rocks during mining operations (as was originally nobly intended by Nobel) ending up as a destructive weapon used for destroying properties, limb and life was not this brilliant scientist’s fault at all. Yet all-too-surreal story behind the origin of Nobel prize would have us believe so!!! BOOM…in 1888, Alfred had a dubious distinction of reading his own unflattering obituary!!! When Alfred’s brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred which called him the "merchant of death" and it went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” This horrified Alfred. Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and led to establishment of the now famous Nobel Norwegian Committee which awards Nobel Prize “to all during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
Nobel’s last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The fact that Nobel prize has been awarded for several outstanding achievements which have made this strife-torn, ailments-infested World “a better place to live in” and also the fact that it continues to inspire several to put their best foot forward in various worthy pursuits stands as a shining testimony to a man who aspired to “live nobly even after his death” by recognizing and rewarding the noble deeds of his fellowmen.
Now coming to the spiritual realm, is there a Biblical account of the good Lord also recognizing and rewarding the faithful servants of His? Welcome to the parable of talents. Welcome once again to that parable latent with lessons waiting to EXPLODE (Matt 25:14-31/Luke 19:11-26). Though the central message of the said parable is similar in both the Gospels, one would observe some subtle differences’ in the Gospel accounts. It needs to be noted here that the one recorded in Matthew’s Gospel was narrated IN Jerusalem, while the one in Luke’s Gospel was related by the Saviour ON THE WAY to Jerusalem.
Since, we started off with the Nobel story, yours truly is inspired to use the first two letters “NO” of that famed chemist’s name in each of the lessons, he has derived from this “Explosive” parable. Didn’t somebody say, you have to blast before building!!! So here goes…
1. “NO” EXCEPTION
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, EACH according to his ability.-Matt 25:14-15 (NIV)
Firstly, this parable blasts the myth that there are some christians with no talents. Scripture is explicit about the fact that NONE was left without a talent. Let’s also at this time, blast yet another myth that “talents” comprise only those of preaching, singing and the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:7-11-ESV) which are guaranteed to bring one under public spotlight.