I am sure many here know the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), but how many really understand what is being said here?
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On the Internet I found this etymology of the word “Talent”:
The use of the word “talent” to mean “gift or skill” in English and other languages originated from an interpretation of this parable (referencing Matthew-Ed.) sometime late in the 13th century.
I found that very interesting, as I believe most people recognize that the meaning behind this parable is that what God gives us we should use. The one servant who didn’t use what was given to him was thrown out into the darkness, whereas the ones that gave back the talents they received, with interest, were welcomed into their Master’s joy, which means they were to share in the joy that God feels when his children do what pleases him.
Nice story. And I am sure that most people concentrate on the two faithful servants who were welcomed into their Master’s joy. I mean, really…who wouldn’t want to associate themselves with those two?
The question is: what makes us think we can be like those two?
Is being a “good person” good enough? I don’t think so, and I’ll tell you why.
Yeshua himself said that no one is good except his Father in heaven (Mark 10:18), so we can be pretty sure that no human is ever going to be “good”, at least not in the eyes of the Lord. That kills the “be a good person and you go to heaven” argument right there.
So, nu? If no one can be good, then what do we need to do to be considered a good and faithful servant? The answer is right here in this parable: we need to take the talents God has given us and increase them. This is where the idea that a talent is more than a unit of monetary measure comes in- it is a gift, something that we receive from God without asking, and which God wants us to use for his glory.
My talent is teaching. I have had this confirmed to me by many people over the years, and also (believe it or not) God has given me a sense of humor, which has helped me in being able to maintain interest during my teaching. It has also gotten me into a lot of trouble when I didn’t use it in a way that glorifies God. The talents God has given me are increased each time I get a new subscriber to my website or YouTube channel (hint…hint) or when someone buys one of my books, which I believe (and pray) are glorifying God and helping people to understand his word better. That is why on the bottom of my Home page I quote from Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” This ministry is a teaching ministry: I am not trying to make converts or to be a missionary: I just want to give people the correct information and they can decide what they are going to do with it.
What talents did God give you? Don’t feel bad if you aren’t sure, and don’t cop-out by saying, “I am good parent” or “I am a good friend”, because Yeshua already killed that argument when he said even sinners will not give their child a snake if they ask for a fish or a friend a stone if they ask for bread. Even sinners share good things with those whom they love and who love them, so just being what the world considers to be a “good person” is no different than burying your talents.
When God spoke to Abraham, he did what God said. Not after thinking about it, not after waiting for the harvest, but the very next morning. And even though Moses took some convincing, he (eventually) learned to do as God said right away. Many of our biblical heroes did as God said pretty much as soon as God said it, and the ones that didn’t or hesitated for a while, well…we don’t know who they are because they didn’t make it into the Bible.
Our God is a God of action, not of sitting around watching for signs and waiting to be given what you need. He wants us to demonstrate our faith by starting something as if we already knew what was going to happen.
You need to determine what talent(s) God has given you and increase them. If you are compassionate, volunteer at a Senior’s Home or with people in need; if you are good with money, volunteer to help at your house of worship with the accounting, or at non-profits who could use the help. If you are good with animals, volunteer at an animal hospital (my wife, Donna, has been volunteering for about 4 years at a local wildlife hospital.) The idea is that you need to increase your talents so that when you face the Lord you will have something to give him that shows you have increased what he gave you.
Here is one last thought that most people don’t want to consider: These three servants were ALREADY members of the Master’s household! Think about that; it means that they were all already “saved”, but the one who failed to do anything with the talents God gave was kicked out!
Think about what that means.
So go forth this very day and if you know what talents God has given you, start to increase them. If you’re not sure what your talents are, think of what you do that makes you feel really good and start there. Anyone can bring glory to God simply by showing how “talented” you are and giving the credit to the Lord.
Thank you for being here and please, if you missed the hint above, subscribe to this website to help me increase the talents I have been given. You can also “like”my Facebook page and invite others to, as well. You can get to it from this link:
Thank you so much for being here, have a blessed day, and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!