The Parable of the Talents

Sunday’s cermon was very powerful; we had a visiting pastor speak. This is what she shared (taken from Matthew 25 in the NIV):

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.’

After reading this passage, she proceeded to tell us that another woman she had been in seminary with had retold the parable this way:

Before Jesus went on a journey, He called his disciples to Him. To one he gave the gift of stories. To another he gave the gift of healing, and to the last, he gave the bread of life and the cup of salvation.

The first disciple went out and told the stories to many others, and those others did the same. The second disciple went out and gave healing to many, who in turn, healed many more. The third disciple, instead of sharing the bread of life and cup of salvation with anyone, took it and buried it in a hole.

Whenever Jesus returned, the first disciple came to him saying, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with many stories. See, I have shared them with all of these people.’

Jesus said, ‘Well done, good and faithful disciple! You have been faithful with a small thing; I will put you in charge of bigger things. Come and share in my happiness!’

Then the second disciple came to Jesus saying, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with the gift of healing. See, I went and healed all these people.’

Jesus said, ‘Well done, good and faithful disciple! You have been faithful with a small thing; I will put you in charge of bigger things. Come and share in my happiness!’

Then the third disciple came to Jesus saying, ‘Lord, I knew you were a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid the Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation in the ground. See, here it is back.’

Jesus said, ‘You lazy disciple! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have at least given the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation to the church, so that they would have shared it with others. So give it to the ones who will share it with others. For whoever shares what they have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not share what they have, it will be taken from them. And they will go into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

I’m not positive I’ve got every single word right, because it was told sunday morning and a world of things has happened since then, but the point was that God gives us amazing gifts–each unique–and rather than share because we are afraid or unsure or arrogant or prideful or refuse to get our hands ‘dirty’, we hold onto it or disregard it or scoff at its importance. Jesus tells us to share what we have with others, that they might have the same blessings we have. Would we have what we now have without someone having been willing to share what they had with us? How did you come to faith? Are you going to sit at your computer screen reading this and say to yourself in answer to my question, ‘I just woke up one day and I believed.’ Let me tell you: if you were to say that to me to my face I would tell you flat out that you were lying and I did not believe you. Someone had shown you love or kindness or forgiveness or grace or compassion. Someone had said, ‘I can love you because I know my God loves me.’ Someone loved you enough to share the amazing gift of God’s love and forgiveness with you. Maybe you didn’t listen at that particular time, but it was there, in the back of your mind. You were aware of its existence. You came to Him when He was ready for you, but when you came, it was because someone, at some point, had shared with you.

I say all of this to say, no matter how foolish you think others perceive you to be, do not be afraid to share His love and the Gospel and the healing power of prayer with others, because you never know what an impact you will make on that person. Sometimes we’re afraid we won’t share the Gospel in just the right way or at just the right time or with just the right words, but believe that with God on your side and faith in your heart, you will share enough in the way that counts with the one who counts if you only try.

Father God,

I thank you for those reading this and for the opportunity to live my life for you. I thank you for the abundant love and grace you give to me everyday. I pray that if someone reading this does not know you that they will know that you love them and see you through me. That my words would be yours through me. I pray that they would just pray to you. I pray that they would just ask for forgiveness of their sins and offer their life to you and trust that you will provide for them in all situations. I thank you for the opportunity to share you with others and pray that I do speak where you want me to speak and share what you want me to share with those whom you want me to share. May I look to you always.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen!

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