Matthew 25 v 14-30
His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant … (verse 21)
Sometimes the word talent is difficult to define or explain. I used to consider talents as a unique gift someone has from birth or has acquired through time by training. To some extent, this may be right.
The free online dictionary has two definitions for talents: “a natural endowment or ability of a superior quality”, and the second is, “a former weight or unit of currency used by the ancient Greeks or Romans”.
There are some talent shows on television which bring home a better picture of what I am trying to convey in this piece of write up.
Some people actually bring out their spectacular gifts in artistic dances, singing high pitched notes, playing instruments and even some mathematical skills of summing up numbers without using a calculator, putting letters to spell words that have never being heard of, just to mention a few. I love watching whenever I have the time to do so because at the earlier stages of the competition, the participants are quite entertaining while displaying their talents. One sometimes wonders how talented some are, and my guess is not far-fetched from the Judge’s decision since such ones are easily eliminated from the competition. That is not to say that their unique performances are not talents but those with superior abilities are left standing to compete in the next round towards the final, since only one of the performances can win the competition.
While reading this’ Matthew passage’ cited above, three things stood out to me. It depends on the Bible translation you use, the King James Bible referred to the gifts as talents, while some Bible translations like “the Message Bible” and The New International Version” refer to it as money.
Everyone is made different by our God the creator. Embedded inside of us are unique gifts which are to be discovered and either used or buried just as the servants in the story did. I don’t think God is going to come down physically and give us money bags just as the Master did in the parable. However, He has given each one of us different gifts in different areas with differing abilities, which could be compared to the bags of money.
I want to focus on the attitude of the servants because it appears that having all received their gifts, the servants joyfully went their way thinking about what to do with their gifts. The first two servants who had five and two talents respectively went at once to do business with what was given to them. They did not delay or dilly-dally as some of us would do today. The response was sharp and immediate. The second point is that they took the master’s business as their own personal business and brought back profit. They wanted the master to succeed and profit so they invested. This was the exact opposite with the servant who had one talent. He did not do anything with his talent. The master did not only call him wicked and lazy, but he was quite disrespectful to his master by telling him that he reaps where he has not sown.
Today, some of us might say we don’t have any talent, or where do I start from? I encourage you to start from anywhere. Have you looked inward? Some people are very good at making others laugh while others are very gracious with their words and brighten the room whenever they come in. Some have caring attitude towards children or the elderly while others do not have such patience. Some people are interested in the progress of others by praying for them. We can go on and on with this list. The most important thing is to identify the gifts and put them to work.
This brings me to my third point. I discovered that all three servants thought they were working for the master because the master gave them the ‘seed money’ to start with. This is not the case as we see from the ‘reward ceremony’. The first servant started with five talents and made five more. His reward was to rule over ten cities (Luke 19 v17). The second servant was to rule over 5 cities. The servant who had the one talent probably did not realize that he was working for himself. If he knew this, he probably would have at least put the money in the bank to get the least increase in his investment as the master thought the servant would do.
We may think that it does not matter what we do with the gifts God has given to us. It may not mean much now, just as it did not mean much to the servant who had one talent. He discovered his mistake when it was too late to make amend. I pray this shall not be our testimony. I pray that God would give us grace to discover what he has given to us and to put it to work for His glory and also for our reward at the time Jesus comes back. May He say to us, “Well done , thou good and faithful servant…. Amen.” Come Lord Jesus come (1 Corinth 16:22).
1. Lord, give me understanding to appreciate all the wonderful gifts in my life.
2. Lord, fill my heart with your presence and help me to love you more dearly.