The Talents from our lord
Jesus, in his parable of the talents, teaches us a valuable lesson that we, as his disciples, can find great joy and peace in if we understand and obey his teachings. First, though, we must understand the teaching so that we can heed its message. Before writing this message, I searched to see what others had written concerning this parable and was surprised to see how many missed the simple, yet meaningful, message Christ was delivering. As with all things Jesus taught, there is simplicity in his message. He wants us to understand! To understand, however, we must do away with our our own thinking and become as a child, in Christ, so that we may have the mind of Christ, in which there is understanding in all things.
Open your bible to Matthew 25:14-30 (for this discussion I will be using the KJV).
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. “
What a beautiful parable! The significance (just in the first few sentences!) upon our lives is very important. Jesus is delivering several messages and I’m going to draw out the comparisons here:
The man traveling into a far country = Jesus
The servants = Us! Disciples of Christ
His goods = His Spirit and accompanying gifts
Note: The word talent in the parable is a form of money ("silver"). As this man invested his worldly goods (or "money") into his servants, like so, our Lord invested his spiritual goods, being his Spirit and accompanying gifts, in us his servants.
Also note, the man is going away as Jesus would do when he ascended to heaven or, as the parable says, “and straightway took his journey”. We also know that when Jesus left he said that he would give unto us a gift. That gift he gave us was His Spirit to dwell within us and it’s accompanying gifts different according to each individual. He also tells us something here that is really important to understand and very hard for many to accept. On this earth, we are not all equal, for Jesus distributes to every man according to his several ability. We must acknowledge our limitations and not compare ourselves and our accomplishments to others! We are all different; some having more abilities and others less. Now, the beautiful thing is that we will learn further on in this parable that in Christ we all are made equal.
“Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. “
We have three different men here. Two of them, being loyal and committed to building up their Lord, took the goods their Lord gave unto them and used them to gain more. This would be likened unto a servant of Christ using the gifts he receives from the Spirit to make more disciples of Christ. Now, the third servant would be likened unto a professed Christian who receives a gift, but never uses it to serve God. This servant is as a tree that produces no fruits and withers away. Or a seed that did not fall on good soil. Remember Jesus saying “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” Those are like the first two servants who did produce.
“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
The last portion of this parable is like unto the coming of Christ in the time of judgement.
“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” He will call us and reward us based on our fruits. The first two were rewarded as a servant of God having stored his treasures in Heaven but the third kept his to himself and was cast into outer darkness.
Note how, although the investment and yield was different for the men who gained more, their reward was the same “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” We all are made equal in Christ no matter our abilities here and now. This teaching of equality can also be seen in Jesus’s parable of the 'Laborers in the Vineyard' found in Matthew Ch:20 Vs 1-16
The lesson of this parable is to be fruitful! Use the gifts that our Savior has given each of his children. Not everyone is the same! Some have more than others, but all can be fruitful if they are in Christ. No matter if your fruits are many or few, as long as you performed to your ability in Christ you will be greatly rewarded! Jesus loves his children and knows his children!
Does he know you?
Do you know him?
With love and the good news of Christ, I desire nothing more than God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.
Joseph R. Stansel