Our possessions are not our own. God has given them to us “on loan”, and he wants us to make them bear fruit. And the wise steward will heed the lesson of Matthew 25:14-26.
In this parable, the master entrusted some talents (each worth about $1000) to several of his servants. One servant received 5 talents and, when his master returned, he was able to bring 10 talents to his master. The next servant received 2 talents and, once again, was able to double its value in the master’s absence. The last servant received 1 talent, buried it, and returned only the original sum to his master.
I’m sure you know the end of the story: the first two servants had put the original investment to work; the master was pleased with them and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” The last one, however, had done nothing with what he had received. He hid the treasure he had been entrusted with, and earned the master’s scorn: “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Why did the three servants receive different amounts at the outset? In verse 15, we read, “To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.” The master knew his servants well, and knew which of them he could trust to use his gifts wisely.
Jesus taught this lesson in the form of a parable, but he put the lesson into practice when he fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fish in Matthew 14 and again in Matthew 15.
What about you? What gifts and abilities have your received from God? Can He trust you to use them well? Are you multiplying your blessings by putting them to work in the world, or are you burying your gifts, your talents?
At the end of our earthly lives, I pray that we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!”