16 “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 “But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his master answered and said to him, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ 29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
As we finish reading this parable, we must keep in mind that the master is compared to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom gives us gifts and talents (in this case talents represents a currency, but all the same we should consider everything that God gives us). We see in the parable that this Kingdom principle is about having faith and using what we are given, not being afraid and holding onto what we have for fear of losing it. Not only does the fearful slave displease his master, but he loses what he was given and is cast aside. This is how the Kingdom works! If we do not utilize what we have by investing it wisely, we not only lose it but we are considered worthless and cast aside.
When we looked at verses 14-15, we talked about how God gives us what He knows we can handle at the time. We see here that the master (i.e. the Kingdom) gave a different proportion to each slave, knowing each slave’s potential. So then, if we receive from God, it is because He knows what we can do with it to benefit His Kingdom and we should act accordingly.
The bible talks about many spiritual gifts and I truly believe that this parable applies to them, but what about the “normal” things we are given? A family. A good job. A church community. Loyal friends. Extra money. These are all things that God gives us to invest in His Kingdom to earn a return for His glory. Even the very air we breathe every day is a gift and we should not take it for granted or store it up for fear of losing it, but make the best with what we have.
What would you rather hear?
“Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
We have the choice to invest and bring joy to our Master or be afraid and be cast from His presence.