Matthew 25:14-30 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
If you read this passage as a child you may have thought that it was about money and the goods that the Father has given you in your life, and in some ways, it is, but it is about so much more. The Father has given you everything that you have and made you who you are. He has given you your earthly possessions to glorify Him and to enjoy while we are here. But it is not just earthly things that He has given you. He has also given you your talents/spiritual gifts. Even though the parable uses the word “talents” to describe the current money system it can also be used to describe your own talents or blessings that the Father has given you. Also, the rest of the Bible shows that how much money a person makes does not get them into heaven or to a closer relationship with the Lord. So it should be clear that this passage is not talking about money specifically but what the Father has given you.
Have you ever noticed in the church that it seems like it is the minority that does the majority of the work? Especially when it comes to Sunday and Wednesday night services? This is actually a normal thing and not bad since as it says in 1 Corinthians 12 “ 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” So you see that minority in the church is there because they have those gifts from the Spirit. You may be part of that minority or you may have different gifts. But we are all called to use, and multiply, those gifts for God’s glory. This is why it seems like a minority does the majority of the work, but in a thriving church the majority are using their gifts in ways that don’t call as much attention to themselves.
But there is a caution in the parable as well. Are you using the spiritual gifts/talents that God has given you? In this passage the caution is that your gift might be stripped from you and given to someone else. This is clearly visible in today’s church. It is not a coincidence that when there is a need, a person that does not feel called to fulfill that need, can thrive in that position and realize that God is actually calling them to it. To say this always happens due to some else’s unused gifts is silly, for who can know God’s plans for each of us, but to say it does not happen is clearly wrong as well. It is also wrong to think “since I don’t have a Sunday or Wednesday gift then the Lord has not given me any talents to use.” This is almost exactly what the 3rd man in the parable did. He assumed that it would be better not to use his “talent” and make a mistake than to displease God.
So what gifts do you have? Are you called to a leading or teaching position? Called to help the poor? To be a prayer warrior? To welcome people into your house? To love your neighbors? To serve and shine in your community? There are so many gifts that the Lord gives us and He also calls us to expand them in our ministry for Him. So the ultimate application for this is “are you using your gifts for the Father? Or are you hiding them under a rock until the Lord decides to take them away and give them to someone else?