The Parable of Your Talent

Matthew 25:14-31.

This is an interesting parable that has come alive to me in a way I have never seen before.  It demonstrates the responsibility each and every one of us is given and what we are told will happen if we do not operate out of faith in our walk with Christ.  I find it interesting how many times I have heard this parable referred to in a Sunday message but  only the high points were discussed from a works perspective and not a spirit perspective.  I pray that we can see how serious God’ takes our  commitments and walk that out in our lives, because at the end of the day we need to carry His Name forward and blow the trumpets louder than the adversary.

To set the stage, since this is a parable. I am going to assume that Jesus, modeled Himself as  the landowner and the servants are Christians. We need to understand that the plantation is the world.  Some say that the third servant was never a Christian, thus the reason he was thrown into darkness. However, the landowner CHOSE three people he believed in, that worked for him and not someone from the street. To me this is the crucial point here. The owner had watched them, and over time he called them forward. Not anything different than the day you were called forward in Christ to carry his name on your heart. If you are like me your heart burned with excitement. We all want to get picked.

So the landowner picked these three and ENTRUSTED them with his money while he was gone. When I think of the word entrusted, I physically feel a warmth associated with this word.  I feel like it is larger responsibility than saying , “Hey can you hold on to this for me.”  Webster says  it is a transitive verb- to give someone the responsibility of doing something or for caring for something or someone. So the landowner, expected, this to be cared for or nurtured.

Now Jesus said, that upon His return, the landowner, called them forward to give an account on how they used the money.  What did Jesus impart to us when he called us and  did we accept it? This is the other crucial point.  Like most of us, we accepted His love without delay with the promise of salvation.  Let’s not be confused, salvation is very important end result of the acceptance of His love but not the end all.  There is a long time from , “Yes Jesus to our Earthly end.  For those of us married, it isn’t final after we say I do. It is only the beginning and your spouse expects that you will live up to your end of the deal.  Your family and friends entrusted you with your spouse.  It was never supposed to be a one way street. We were never supposed to lock them away and check on them periodically to see if they are OK?  When we accepted Jesus in our heart, we were entrusted with His love. If we are the bride  to Christ there is an expectation, which this parable and all of Matthew 25 clearly articulates. We need to expect Him and be prepared and ready for Him.

Now two of the servants understood what was expected once they accepted the money. They knew the landowner and each worked with what they were given and it grew.  Now let’s think about this, if Jesus impart or releases  His Love and we are entrusted with it, of all the things in the world worth investing in, His Love is a sure thing.  God’s Love is described as a flowing river of life, not a stagnant pond.

Let’s take a quick side trail form something I heard recently. If God is everything and God is Love and through that Love he allows us to create. The only way God can be more than He is, is to allow His Love to create.  We read in Revelation that when He returns He will gather His flock.  In addition he will pass judgments in order to increase that number. The only way He will recognize His bride will be though the Love He recognizes in them. We can’t save the world, but if you sit on our God-Given talent that is to be use to carry His surname on our hearts, we allow evil to prosper. Is this truly a side trail to our discussion of a result of behaving like the third servant?

The faith-led servants, worked with their talent out of obedience coupled with faith. When the landowner was gone, they had their talents in front of them per say, in which they were able to nurture and multiply. Love creates and evil destroys. Evil is the absence of Love. If we sit and do nothing, evil flourishes. We are called to exercise that authority we have through our relationship with Christ. The servants did this and the talents multiplied.

Now the third servant, said to the landowner upon his return, that he had known him to be a harsh man and said understood that the landowner took things that where not was his. Here we see that the servant operated out of fear and made assumption about the land owner’s character. He stashed his talents away and made sure he did not lose what was given to him for fear of punishment. Going about his business every day until the master’s return.  Thinking to himself he was doing the right thing, he was being obedient, he was by the way doing as he was told. The servant took his talent and ensured that it was safe until the landowners return.  Looking every day, where he buried it and said, “Yup it is safe over there under that rock.” Continuing his normal duties as a good and faithful servant, thinking all along he was doing the right thing.  He just needed to make sure what was given to him was safe and secure.

All the servants did what they believed they should do for the landowner. Even by today’s standards the third servant’s actions would be considered commendable and praised. He might even get a reward for safekeeping of what was given to him.   In today’s world, the two faith-led other servants might endure a bit criticism against them for taking a risk, even though it worked out in the end.  This is a truth we see on display every day, if they hadn’t increased their money, then they would no longer be heroes but zeroes.

BUT that is not how God works.  What the world believes and what even many Christians believe is not what God believes. Matthew 25 has three majors a part to it and at some point grace runs out and everyone is held to account and the door will be shut. Throughout the Bible we are given example after example showing that God deals more swiftly with those he has entrusted than those he has not.  This does not mean salvation can be revoked if you were misled, with the proper motives or that salvation cannot be given at the last moment from a pure and repentant heart.

However, it is alarming to see how Christ says the Father will deal with those that perform works in His name under the covering of ungodly motivations. This is not my opinion, this is straight from the Big man himself. One thing I will say is that if our true intention is to sow God’s love forward no matter if we yield a large or small return, there is no example of God not honoring His commitment to those who walk in righteousness.

The power in the parable is truly a condition of your heart. If you are invested in Christ, He is invested in you.  If you are hedging your bets, check-in periodically and want to drop-in three seconds before the end of the game and carry the ball across the goal line, do not be surprised if the head coach says, NO!!!

Because of God’s grace, I am propelled to know Him more, not thank my lucky stars that my place is reserved in Heaven. That theology allows me to do whatever my little heart desires to satisfy me and make my world comfortable. Unfortunately, there are many that believe just that and don’t even know any difference.  If we sit on our talents and not use them, how will we be able to discern Godly acts and from ungodly acts.  Will you still be saved, or  smoking from the refiner’s fire as you get to Heaven, only you can search your Heart and ask Christ Himself.

In the end I have no idea, what this means for you, that is between you and God, but just like my relationship with my wife I must protect it from outside influences and keep it pure. The same with my relationship with Christ, I need to do my part to keep that relationship pure as well. Just because I am an adult does not mean I have learned everything, oh contraire  I know less know than I ever did.

Since the day of your acceptance of Christ has your heart turned from a true desire to serve Him into lip service coupled with a belief that grace will cover you moving forward if you do all the right things?

OR

Do you take your commitment as seriously as God does about the gift He has given you?

Remember what is important is what God believes about you not what you believe about God. Because in the end, it was not what the third servant thought about the landowner that mattered, it was what the landowner thought about him.

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