We are going to look at one last parable Jesus tells us about the Kingdom – the parable of the talents. In this parable a master going away on a journey gives differing amounts of money to three of his servants. One gets five talents, one gets two talents and one gets one talent. A talent was worth about twenty years of a labourer’s wages. The servant with five talents goes and trades and doubles what he had received. Likewise, the servant with two talents doubles what he had received. But the servant given the one talent buries it and only has that initial talent to return to his master when he returns from his journey.
The master is very pleased with the two servants that took what was given to them and invested it and used it to earn more. He calls them his “good and faithful” servants (Matthew 25:21,23) and they get given more responsibility for they have proved themselves worthy stewards of what was given to them. But the third servant, the one who buried what he was given, us sternly rebuked. He get called “You wicked and slothful servant” (Matthew 25:26), his one talent is taken from him and given to the servant who now has ten, and he is “cast… into the outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30). He doesn’t get to enter into the joy of his master like the first two servants.
It is clear that, as Kingdom citizens, we are the servants in this parable. And while the talents in the parable are a financial term rather than skills or giftings the principle of the parable applies to ‘skill’ talents as well.
We have been given different talents. There is a whole array of gifts that God through the Holy Spirit lavishes upon His Kingdom people for the sake of advancing the Kingdom and seeing it established on earth as in heaven. If you have entered through the narrow gate you will have been given gifts and talents from God. Not everyone gets the same talent – just like in the parable one got five while one got two and another one, so for us some get musical talents for worship, some get communication talents for evangelism while others get talents that help us practically serve those in need and shoe them the unconditional love of Christ.
What is important is not what talents and gifts we have been, but that we use them. We must put what God has given to us to use for Kingdom purposes. We cannot afford to ‘bury’ the talents God has given us by sitting on them and not putting them to use. There is too much at stake here. There is a world around us walking around blind to the Kingdom of God that is at hand. Neighbours, friends and family who are ignorant of the invitation to enter through the narrow gate and become Kingdom citizens through the mercy and grace of God. We must put our talents to use and share the invitation with them. Regardless of what talents we have been given we all have a part to play. We must use our talents to enable others to enter into the joy of our Kingdom master, God our loving Father, and then when the final earthly day comes we too will hear those amazing words “Well done, good and faithful servant” as at last we stand face to face with our King.
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” 1 Corinthians 12:7
- What talents has God given you?
- How are you using them for the kingdom?
- Who around you needs to hear the invitation to the Kingdom today?