For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
So he who had received five talents came and brought the other five talents saying, “Lord you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents beside them.”
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
He also who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.”
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
Then he who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.”
But his lord answered and said to him, “You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not gathered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:14-30)
God gives us many talents, some we are given at birth and others when we come to know Him. Either way, He expects us to use them and to multiply them. All of us are called to teach. In one form or another we are called to do it. Song Lyrics teach, poetry, writing fiction, teaching our own children, volunteering in the nursery - wherever our calling and talent lies, we’ll be teaching.
So what is this story about? I’ve meditated on it and this is what God has shown me. It’s all about fear. The bible admonishes us to be courageous, and counsels us to have no fear over and over in many ways. The exact phrase, “Do not fear” appears fifty-one times and “Fear Not” appears eleven times in the NKJV.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Timothy 1:7)
Whenever we are afraid, that feeling does not come from God. He gives us Peace, not Fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Who has ever prayed for fear? But we pray and need to pray constantly for our fear to be removed. Additionally we need to act in spite of our fear at times.
In this parable, there are three servants of the lord. The first two servants are given more and greater talents because their lord knew them to already be trustworthy of them. Likely they had already proven themselves to work hard for their lord and had already not let fear overcome them. These two are like those who work in the mission field or at least in positions that are in front of others, like preaching.
They worked diligently and brought in a bounty of other talents by encouraging others to use their talents for God as well. They were faithful and brought God a multiplied harvest. So they were trusted with more responsibility.
The third servant was given a talent, and hid it because he was afraid. He feared that he would lose his talent. He may have feared public speaking, making a spectacle of himself, or maybe even going to foreign lands because of airplanes, disease, or needing to learn a new language. He may have believed that he was not smart enough, or that God didn’t give him enough talents. Regardless, he let his fear keep him from moving.
When his lord returned and said – “at least you could have left your talent with the banker so I could have received interest,” the lord was telling the servant that there were little things that he could have done. He could have been faithful in small ways. If foreign fields were the source of his fear, he should have served in the church. If public speaking, then he could have mowed the church’s grass and passed out bulletins. But the point is that he could have done something, whatever it was that God called him to do.
I don’t believe that passing out bulletins is enough work for God’s kingdom. What I do believe is, if this servant had been faithful here, out of his comfort zone, then he would overcome his fear and found himself stepping even further out. He would learn what pleasure there is in serving the Lord outside of our house or even our church.
The point in this parable is to not allow fear to keep us from serving. God expects us to DO something. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. And each little thing that we do will have an impact for God’s kingdom, even if it only makes us trust Him further and become more willing to have new faith in ourselves and in what God can do. So what small thing can I do for Him today? I pray that I will do it.