"Job Well Done", The Parable of the Talents
Home improvement projects are always an adventure. I remember my parents always being handy at fixing things around the house. Unless it was a major renovation the majority of time it was fixed by them. When a major renovation would arise and a company or contractor would come in they would be active participants in the project. They would be aware of what the contractor was doing and asking questions if something didn’t seem right. If the worker took pride in his work, and did his very best, he would be rewarded not only with payment but he would become the family contractor and referrals would follow. In this teaching we find Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God, our service in it, and the consequence to those who choose not to be an active part in it.
Similarly to the “Parable of the tenants” a land owner is going on a journey and entrusts his property to his servants. To each servant he entrusts a sum of money, he gave 5 to the first servant, 2 to the second and 1 to the third. He knew the abilities of each servant and he entrusted them with a great wealth and responsibility. The property owner left, and the scripture says that the one servant that was entrusted with 5 talents went to work right away and doubled what he was given. Similarly the one that was given 2 talents went out and doubled what he had been given. The one that was given one talent went out and buried it in the field. After a number of years the man returned from his journey and met with his entrusted servants. This was a day of reckoning a day to settle accounts. The two who were faithful with their entrusted talents were entrusted with more and were given opportunity to share in the owners rewards. The third servant who was entrusted with 1 talent presented his talent back to the owner of the land and tried to excuse his lack of productivity by saying “I know you are a hard man”, and “since you are I was afraid…” The owner of the land dismisses the servants excuse and gives it to the one that was most productive, casting the lazy servant aside.
We may look at the servant with 1 talent and feel sympathy for him. A key point that we need to remember is that the land owner new the ability of the servant. He entrusted him with a talent that was of great value, a servant’s responsibility was to look after his master’s property in his absence, making wise choices and investments that would benefit the property owner.
Jesus was speaking to the disciple’s pre crucifixion, he was teaching them about the kingdom of God and that they have been entrusted with a great treasure in the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus charge was to be faithful in their service for they had been entrusted with a valuable message. There would be a day of accounting for them as there will be for us if we consider ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, for we also have been entrusted with the message of the Gospel. God knew the abilities of the early disciples as he knows ours today. God has more faith in us than we have in ourselves, in our service let us be faithful in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and let us be obedient to use our abilities to glorify God. May we all hear “well done my good and faithful servant” when Jesus returns for us.