Summary: Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God. We are all accountable for management of the resources God gave us: We either pass or fail.
1. GOD SHARES HIS TREASURE WITH EACH OF HIS SERVANTS–ACCORDING TO OUR POTENTIAL
This parable has been confusing to many people because of the word “talents” in the King James Version. To us, the word “talent” means an ability, like a talent to sing. But in the original Greek language, the word talenton referred to a huge sum of money. Some commentators say a talent is 6,000 denaria; one denarius is what a mean would earn in one day, so 6,000 denaria would be 20 years’ income! But this parable is doubly confusing, because it can apply to your abilities, your talents! God has given treasure to every one of His servants. You must realize it is not yours; it is God’s. In the story, the master gave to the servants that which is called “his property.”
Again, let me remind you that every good thing you have in your life came as a gift from God: your money, your abilities, your family, your intelligence, your friends, your house, your car–it’s no really yours, it all belongs to God!
Even the money you give to God is His in the first place. When Solomon built the Temple in the Old Testament, the people came and gave financial gifts for the cost of the construction, exactly what we are doing. Notice what Solomon prayed as He offered this money to God: “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things...but who am I, and who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (I Chronicles 29:12-13) I give thanks to God for the generosity you have shown over the past few years as we built this worship center, but we need to understand we were only giving back to God that which has come from His hand.
Now, you may be scratching your head wondering why God asks us to give to back to Him, why doesn’t He just keep it for Himself in the first place? The answer is twofold: First, He wants us to be blessed by the joy of giving to Him, and, second, He is blessed when we sacrifice to Him.
When my daughters were little, I took them Christmas shopping and I would give them a certain amount of money to spend on Christmas gifts. The money was not theirs, they hadn’t earned it, I gave it them. They would use the money I gave them to buy me a Christmas gift. Now, I could have said, “Instead of giving you $20 to buy me a present, I’ll just keep the money and buy something for myself.” No, I wanted to give them the opportunity to be blessed by buying me something. And on Christmas morning, when I unwrapped their gift to me (that they bought with my money) I was blessed, too! It’s the same with God.
As you read the parable, you may be confused about WHY the Master gave one servant $5,000, another $2,000, and another $1,000. You may object, “It’s not fair!” The Bible says the Master gave to the servants, “according to their ability.” The Lord knows some people have been blessed with a greater ability to serve Him, so He has entrusted with them more treasure. God knows the potential ability of each of us, and He gives us gifts according to those abilities. If you have been blessed financially, it’s because has seen in you the ability to produce more for Him. Our job is not to complain if someone has been given more than us, it’s to make the most out of what we have been given. So, it’s not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice. The next lesson is: