Jesus presented this parable to the crowd.
Imagine a man who, before going abroad, sent for his officials and entrusted his money to them. Then he gave five talents to one, to another he gave two, and to a third, just one; to each the amount proportioned to his individual ability. He then went abroad. At once, the recipient of the five talents went to invest them in enterprise and made another five. In like manner, the recipient of the two talents made another two. But the recipient of the one talent went away to dig a hole in the ground and buried his master's money. After a long delay, the master of those officials returned and settled accounts with them. So the recipient of the five talents came forward and presented five additional talents. `Master," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents. Look, I made another five." "Well done, good and faithful servant,' the master said to him. "You were faithful in managing something small. I will now put you in charge of something great. Share to the full your master's happiness."
When the recipient of the two talents came, he said in turn, "Master, you entrusted me with two talents. Look, I made another two." "Well done, good and faithful servant," the master said to him. "You were faithful in managing something small. I will now put you in charge of something great. Share to the full your master's happiness."
Finally the recipient of the one talent came before him and said, "Master, I know you are a hard taskmaster. You reap where you have not sown and you store away what you have not winnowed. So I shrank from doing anything at all and went
But his master had an answer for him. "You lazy good-for-nothing fellow," he said to him, "you knew that I reap where I have not sown and store away what I have winnowed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank and on my return I might have at least recovered my capital plus the interest. Therefore, take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. Everyone who already has will receive more yet till he abounds in wealth, while the one who does not have will lose even what he has."
This last man was thinking only of himself--playing it safe and protecting himself from his hard taskmaster. He was judged for his self-centered behavior. We must not make excuses to avoid what God calls us to do. If God is truly our master, we must obey willingly. Our time, abilities, and money aren't ours in the first place--we are caretakers, not owners.
And for those of you out there who would prefer a more secular reading, let me say it this way. You can hide from the truth, or you can proclaim it. Those who stick their necks out will suffer, but only through suffering and daring to proclaim the truth will you ever reach the Kingdom of God. And by "The Kingdom of God" I don't necessarily mean heaven.
I mean PEACE OF MIND, friends.