Our scripture this week is Matthew 25:14-30, taken today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents. In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have earned two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ “Now the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’ “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You worthless, lazy slave! Did you know that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter seed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore: take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus tells us that we were created for a purpose. Our lives and the world around us are gifts from God to be used for His glory and to tell everyone of the joy of our connection with Him. When we use these as He intended, we and all creation are blessed.
The lazy slave in this parable serves as a warning not to hide our gifts from the world. God expects more from us than just daily survival. He made us in His image to be in relationship with Him and each other.
Ignoring the task He has for us means missing the goal of the kingdom work planned for us. Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Use the gift you have been given to show others how great God is and what He has done in your life.
Loving Lord, we have been blessed beyond measure by Your gifts to us. Help us to use them well, that all the world may come to You. Amen.