Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Talents

When was the last time you read the Parable of the Talents?  I knew the story 'very well' having heard it most of my life, but this last week was challenged to unpack it a little more.

Take a quick look:  Matthew 25:14-30

What do you notice?
There were 3 servants.  He gave them all different amounts of money, why?  "According to their ability".  Ok, so already we see 'to whom much is given much is required' (how many talents do you have?)

What did the master own?  The money? yes.  The land? yep.  The servants?  Them too.  Everything belonged to him.

What happened when the master left?  Well, 1st think about this, what would happen if your boss left, didn't say when they were coming back, but it would be a long time.  What would happen?  Want a better example?  Think of a college/high school classroom.  What would happen if the teacher left the room and was going to be gone?  How many students would stick around and do what they were suppose to do?  ('while the cat's away the mice will play')

But what happened?  By those examples, 1 went 'to play' and 2 went to work (do work!).  It doesn't even say what they did, just that they went to work.

Ok, next:  How'd they do?  One buried the money and made nothing, the other 2 doubled-up.

So, when the master came back, how do you think the servants responded?  The one that made nothing, do you think he hid around the back of the room, avoided eye contact, and tried to look busy?  Probably.  Now what about the other two?  Don't you know they were busting the doors down to Run to get an audience with him!

Now, what happened next?  What did the two servants who doubled up have to say?  Not much, they didn't have a need to, they just let their actions speak.  The third servant, the one who didn't make anything, what did he have to say?  He blamed it on the man.  He said, "you see master, it's really YOU'RE fault... that I didn't do anything"  He blamed the master for his inaction.  (how often do we do that....)

Last thing from the text I want you to notice.  Who owned everything again?  The master.  Who's money was it then?  The master's.  Notice the end of the parable, he says take the 1 talent (from the man who had done nothing) and give it to the man who has 10.  So, the man who had 5 of the master's talents and doubled them to make 10 (of the master's talents), still had the 10 talents.  The master hadn't taken them away, he had left them with the servant.  Think on that.

So what's your ROI?

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