Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30 NIV
Today, I want to remind us all of the truth that we sometimes forget. God expects you and me to reach our fullest potential as we grow and produce fruit according to the resources He gives to us. This principle is at the forefront of our gospel reading today, the Parable of the Talents.
The word “talent” has a double meaning. In Jesus’ time, a talent would have been a considerable amount of money, what an ordinary laborer might have earned over fifteen years. “Talents” can also mean abilities or skills that help us grow and produce fruit for God’s kingdom. For example, someone may have a talent for music or cooking, or business.
The Parable of the Talents isn’t only about money or ability. It’s about something even more critical. This parable comes after Jesus’ eye-opening predictions about the end times in Matthew 24. There is a sense of urgency in the Master who entrusts his servants with valuable resources that have the potential to grow and expand. The servants don’t know when their master will return. They must not waste what has been given to them but use and expand it.
The first two servants understand the worth of what they have been given and realize without even being told that the funds could be invested and multiplied. The last servant buried what had been given him in the ground and blamed the one who gave him the treasure for his own short-sighted reaction. The first two servants saw potential and capitalized on it. The last servant looked negatively on the giver and did not respect the gift.
Here are my questions to you today: What are you doing with the resources God has given you? Are you reaching your full potential as a follower of Jesus Christ? Are you moving forward in your spiritual life?
Why is this important? Because Jesus is coming back and we don’t know when! We will all have to answer for what has been given to us and whether or not we have capitalized on its potential. This brief story about a master and his three servants turns upside down the standards of the world. We learn that the worst thing would be to fail in our efforts to do good things with what has been entrusted to us.
Sometimes our fears can stop us from using our talents for God’s kingdom. We might be fearful when we begin a new work for God. But, we must remember: risk is involved in every act of faith. Sometimes certain life lessons can only be learned through failure. Staying stagnant because of our fears teaches us nothing.
When we are tempted to become fearful, we must remember that each one of us has a role to play in the kingdom of God. Every time we use what God has given us, whether it be talents, abilities, or money, we add to the work that other Christians are also doing. Even a small contribution means so much and is received with joy from God.
From this gospel parable, we see that God invests in us for the sake of His kingdom. Success is found, not in accumulating more than we can ever use, but in our willingness to risk our treasures, talents, and time for God. This is the trust and faith that God wants from us. Let Him care for the results.
My beloved Church, we live in a world full of skeptical and greedy people. This is because of our sinful and fallen nature. Think of the impact we can have when we have Faith in God and give unconditional service to our neighbors by sharing our gifts and talents. This is the believer’s response against skepticism and sin in the world.
Let’s take the risk and put our talents into action for God’s kingdom.
Almighty Lord! You are full of majesty, yet You have reached out to us in kindness, and You sustain our life. Give us eyes of faith to see your Holy Spirit at work in our midst and the courage to overcome our fears, so we can use our talents to bless people through the ministry and mission of our Church. Thus, our neighbors come to recognize your love in tangible ways and we add precious souls to Your kingdom. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.