Parable of the Ten Talents
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30, NIV) (see also Luke 19:11-27)
In this parable, as with many others, God is the master and we, all mankind, are the servants. The bags of gold given those who serve him, represents the opportunities, gifts and talents the Lord has given to each individual person. And, just as it was left up to the servants to devise how to use the gold, so it is left up to us to decide how to use what is given to us by the Lord.
Everyday, we have an opportunity to serve the Lord. Do we take it? Opportunities can vary from an opening to share the Word of God with an unsaved person, to an activity that will allow you to use your God-given talent(s) in a way that will glorify Him. Some opportunities may seem small, but can grow into something more. Importantly, the opportunities we are given, are ones that we can handle! They may seem challenging, and we may doubt ourselves, but the Lord knowns our capabilities and has given us “each according to his ability.” We should not compare our opportunities with the opportunities given to others. We are each on our own journey with the Lord, growing from that tiny mustard seed into a thriving mustard tree!
Perhaps you have been blessed with the talent of writing. An opportunity may present itself to write a small opinion piece in a local paper. Or maybe you are student and you are given the opportunity to write for you school paper. In using your gift to glorify the Lord, you grow and more opportunities are presented. Eventually, you have your own successful book series!
Or, in another example, you have been blessed with the gift of teaching or leadership. A young man (or woman) at church or work has noticed your leadership style, noticed your work ethic, and would like you to be their mentor and help them grow and advance. You may start off working with one person, and grow into leading a small group or team. Your responsibilities and abilities will continue to increase as you use your gift!
Our gifts, talents, abilities have been given to us by the Lord. But He has left it in our hands as to how we use those gifts – and when. But we must remember that our time is not infinite. Just as the servants were called upon to account for their actions when the master returned, so too will we be called upon to account for our actions. The ending of the parable, touches upon what will be discussed later this month – Jesus’ return!
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