Parable of the Talents
Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 25:14-30 about a man who is going on a journey. Before he leaves he calls his servants and he gives different amounts of money to each “according to his ability.” While he was gone the man given 5 talents made 5 talents more. The man given 2 talents made 2 more, but the man who received one, buried it in the ground because he was afraid he would lose it and be punished when his master returned.
The first two men were both rewarded when their master returned, and the master said exactly the same thing to both, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.”
This shows we are to work with what we have. God knows how much he has given us and He expects us to use our abilities for His purposes and be ready to one-day give an account. Our knowledge comes with responsibilities. God’s rewards will be based on our faithfulness and stewardship of the goods and talents He has given us. There is no such thing as a gift less Christian! Works are an outcome of our faith.
The man who buried his talent was punished. He was not doing his master’s will. If we do nothing to further God’s kingdom, we are like this man and will be treated the same. God is the source of the good life and of blessing. He has the resources to give them because He is the creator. But, God expects His people to think of material possessions as first belonging to Him. He lends His choice things to people because He loves and cares for us. We are to administer them for God so that both His people and His wealth serve a purpose.
Both as sovereign and creator, God has a clear goal for history and creation. He requires his people to use His things for His purpose and according to His instruction. In order to accomplish these purposes He uses both people and things. He judges and disciplines people in their use of things and He adds to or takes away from the things He has lent.