14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, depending on each one’s ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately 16 the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I’ve earned five more talents.’ 21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ 22 “The man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I’ve earned two more talents.’ 23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy.’ 24 “The man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a harsh man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 “His master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and I would have received my money back with interest when I returned. 28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
These past few months we’ve all spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting to see if we are going to get sick, waiting for grocery stores to restock, waiting to go back to our offices, schools, etc. Waiting is hard. Jesus wanted to prepare His followers as they waited.
This parable helps us understand that waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. In this story, the master freely trusted his servants with valuable gifts. God does the same thing with us. He is a generous God who gives us priceless gifts. While we wait for His return, we are to use these gifts—whether of time, money, or strengths— to multiply and care for His kingdom.
Second Corinthians 9:8 says this, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Don’t miss this. The source of our good work is not our own efforts, but the abundance that God gives. In this parable, it is the generosity of the master that enables the two servants to succeed.
We often focus on ourselves and what we can or can’t do for God. We live in two extremes. Some days, we think we can do life on our own. Other days, we’re ready to give up. When the third servant in this story decided to do what he wanted, ignoring his master, he suffered the consequences of his own pride. The secret to a job well done is giving up our own agenda and asking for God’s enabling strength and power. It’s not what we can do, it’s what He can do through us. His power is made perfect in weakness.
We also see that the third servant had the wrong idea about who the master was. His description of the master as harsh does not fit the picture of trust and generosity that we see in his interactions with the servants. In our world, we often encounter people who have the wrong picture of God. They may see Him as distant and uncaring. It is our great honor to show people a different picture. It is our great privilege to communicate the deep love of God to our friends and family.
Scripture is packed with adjectives that describe God’s love for us—abounding, faithful, great, enduring, priceless, constant, unfailing, abundant—and these are just a few from the book of Psalms. I sat with a guy recently who was overcome with emotion as he described how God had answered his prayers. He experienced firsthand the abounding love of God for him, and he couldn’t help but share it. When we have the right idea about who God is and live it out, the world will see Him clearly.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are the valuable gifts God has given you? How are you using your time, money and strengths to build His kingdom?
- Describe some ways God has abundantly blessed you. Are there relationships that are a part of His blessing? If so, be sure to tell those people how important they are to you.
- Do you have an accurate picture of who God is? Take some time to make an honest list of the characteristics of God you have experienced. Find scripture that confirms those characteristics.
- What would other people say you think about God?
This passage of the Bible reminds us that “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Remind kids that God gives them gifts, too. Ask your kids what types of things they are good at. Are they good listeners? Do they care for animals? Are they good at playing sports or teaching skills? Those are all gifts God gave them! Discuss further on how they can use those gifts to further God’s kingdom.
Pray for perseverance for our church family’s global workers. Pray they would hope in Christ daily when facing a task that can seem insurmountable. Pray they will continue to deeply trust that God is working in the people they are committed to reach.