Jesus was explaining how the Kingdom of Heaven works.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, depending on their abilities. Then he left.
Keep in mind a talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a labourer.
Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single talent dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The men given five and two talents showed him how they had doubled their investment. His master commended them ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partners.’
“The servant given one talent said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
“‘Take the one talent and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.”(Matthew 25: 14-30 The Message Bible)
“The parable of the talents is to teach us what it means to invest our gifts for a greater purpose. We are to be responsible for the talents he has placed inside each of us, investing them for maximum return.” (T.D. Jakes – Soar)
But how often do we look at what we have; our job, abilities, even our bank accounts; our talents and the gifts we have been given and get afraid of failing, of disappointment, of loss or we compare ourselves to others and therefore minimise and even bury within us what we have been given instead of growing it to the best of our abilities.
God says, “That is a terrible way to live. It is criminal to live so cautiously – you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?”
We all start from a different point. Some have been blessed with a stable home life, with brains, beauty and they just seem to be good at everything; others have had a harder background, maybe fewer opportunities, health issues and faced setbacks but we all have something we have been given and God expects us to make the most of it. The first two men in the parable worked and dealt wisely and doubled their talents even though they had different amounts to begin with. The master was pleased with both returns.
Talents and gifts have been planted in all our lives like seeds. They may have been given in different measures to different people but all seeds need to be watered. Our talents need to be watered and cultivated to bring the best returns for what God has invested in our lives.
Let’s not settle and be too afraid, too lazy or uninformed, like the third servant in the parable with what we have been entrusted. God wants us to be responsible, diligent and focused so that we yield maximum returns for what we’ve been given. For it is actually a terrible way to live – To be given so much and yet do so little, to be blessed and yet do nothing with that blessing.
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:6-7 NKJV)
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
Prayer: Lord please forgive me where I have not made the most of what you have entrusted me with. Help me today to take the time and effort to invest and cultivate my gifts for a greater purpose so that I can become all that I was made to be. In Jesus name Amen.