Many of Us unknowingly miss the mark. We think we are doing a good thing, but we actually missed it.
The book of Matthew is a very important book among the Gospel books. It explores many of Jesus’s core parables which today we still use both in our corporate and private devotions in learning how to be better children of God. One of the many such parables of Jesus with in-depth meanings is the Parable of the Talents. This parable is unique in that it has multiple meanings, and also has some practical relevance in our present-day and lives. May our eyes and hearts be opened to access the light in this teaching, and may we be equipped to walk in its path daily, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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 abilities; and straightway took his journey. 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. 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 everyone 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.Matthew 25:14-30
In understanding the meanings of parables such as this one (as many as are revealed to you), we need to put ourselves practically into the picture of its setting. This is a parable of the Kingdom of Heaven, one for those who are in the Kingdom. The book of John 15 speaks about Vines and Branches. Jesus is the Vine, the Trunk, and anyone joined to Him, the branches. He uses this to emphasize God’s desire to see us fruitful. Fruitfulness here becomes a very important criterion for being blessed (shaped, trimmed, etc.) and accepted by God.
But Matthew uses this parable to show us this same thing in another light. How does Jesus do this? He uses the story of a rich man taking a trip and entrusting his most trusted servants with his resources. Let us look into this parable bit by bit.
The Man and His Servants
Although Jesus uses the word ‘man’, it should be noted that this parable, being about the Kingdom, is referring to the person of God, the Father, the Creator of us all, the One from whom all things spring and exist. He is the Master of this Universe, the Lord of this House of creation. Remember that this isn’t a parable about the world’s system or of sinners, but about God and His own people. Permit me to call this a ‘Kingdom Family Parable’.
And so, in this family are the Master’s own subjects, His servants, His people and the sheep of His pasture. In this Parable, Jesus calls them His servants. Let us understand that from the day we got saved, we become God’s own possession. This means that now we belong to God. This means that now, we are His children by adoption through our faith, Christ Jesus. I will like to call this ‘the order of our son-ship’. Here, we have access to the Divine nature of God in our lives, the privileges, and rights of the Kingdom life. Here, we have been delivered from the power of the devil and sin and can expect to walk in the realities thereof. – John 1:12, Colossians 1:12-14, 2Peter 1:3-4, 1Cor. 6:19-20, Psalms 100:3.
Yet, with all these, as great as they are, we are shown another position God expects us to occupy, the ‘place of servant-hood’. It is very important that we understand and accept this as truth, that we are called to service as we are called to sonship. That though, it begins in sonship, there is still room for maturing into servitude which is a mark of responsibility and commitment to our God, our Family in Christ and the interest of the Father’s heart. Our Father, our Lord, and Master is in business, and as obedient, loving and submitted children/worshippers to Him, we are required to serve Him as He appoints us to.
So, Jesus calls them (the saved and redeemed, who have answered the call to serve not just the call to repentance) His servants. The servants are close to their Master. They wait on Him, not just to meet their personal needs as in Isaiah 40:31, but to serve and please Him as in Luke 17:7-10. Does this sound like what it truly means to be called a Christian? I think so. Whatever brings you to the place where all you want to do, have and be is serve and please the Lord has succeeded in translating you into the service level where you’re no longer just a child of the House but now a responsible worker, heir, and servant.
He gave them Gifts according to their Abilities and Talents
The unique thing about that this Master of the house is that He called and endowed each servant according to their ability (because He knew them Himself). The scripture said that He called them and then gave them gifts according to each person’s ability. This means that no one got more than they could handle, and none got less than he could handle too. It was a perfect endowment. What makes Him so perfect in this act? None other than the fact that He (the very One who created them) knew them and what they could do…..
For the remainder of this article, please read our February 2020 issue coming out on January 27th, 2020. Don’t want to miss it? Please sign up for our FREE subscription and have it delivered right to your inbox!