Stewardship: The Parable of the Talents
Our faculty and staff adopted the theme of “Biblical Stewardship” for the 2019-2020 school year. At Knights Unite on August 13, I provided a brief overview of our in-service study of The Parable of the Talents. A parable is simply a story told to illustrate a point indirectly, a technique used frequently by Jesus. (See Mark 4:10-12 for Jesus’ explanation as to why He taught in parables.)
In Matthew 25, Jesus is discussing the end-times with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, about two days before His arrest and crucifixion. He is approaching the end of His earthly ministry and expresses urgency to believers both past and present, to remain vigilant and to be ready for His return because we will all give an account.
The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 is the story of a wealthy estate owner who is about to embark on a long journey. Prior to departure, the master “called his servants and entrusted his property to them” (Matthew 25:14b, NIV) “…each according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15b). He gave five talents of money to one servant, two talents to another, and one talent to a third servant. A talent is a weight equivalent to approximately 75 pounds, so these amounts correspond to 375, 150, and 75 pounds of currency! Certainly not pocket change.
Jesus then says, “The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with two talents gained two more. But, the man with one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (Matthew 25:16-18)
After a long absence, the master returned, rewarding the faithful stewardship of the first two servants as follows, “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!” However, the master condemns the third servant as “worthless” and has him thrown “outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)
I am taken aback by the trust, generosity, and graciousness of the master – the richness of the reward. Also, the harsh consequences of poor stewardship – the failure to invest one’s God-given gifts in His kingdom. I am also relieved to see that the reward is in proportion to the gifting! It makes me consider my own stewardship of time, money, and other resources! Am I leveraging them wisely for the glory of God?
I encourage you to read Matthew 25:14-30. After reading it, first ask, “What does it say?” Then ask, “What does it mean?” Finally ask, “How does it apply to me?”
As part of our focus on biblical stewardship this fall, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, a nine-week course being offered at Hill Country Bible Church beginning the week of September 15. I have been through this course twice. It teaches a biblical approach to money management that is transformational. For more information or to sign up for a group, click here .
We are off to a great start this school year!
Dr. Jeff Marx