14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and hewent on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 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 gained five more talents.’ 21 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 into the joy of your master.’
22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 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 into the joy of your master.’
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “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. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:14-30 (NASB)
This parable, which is commonly referred to as the parable of the talents, has always fascinated me. I think it is interesting that the master gives the slaves different talents based upon their individual abilities. When he returns he judges them based upon their individual abilities. He doesn’t expect the slave with two talents to perform the same way as the slave with five. He doesn’t expect the slave with one talent to perform the same way as the one with two. The master knows what each one is capable of and doesn’t give them more than they can manage. The last slave is cast out not because he didn’t live up to the first two slaves. He’s cast out because he didn’t live up to his own abilities. In fact, he sat around and did absolutely nothing. He put forth no effort at all.
I have to remind myself that I won’t be judged based upon others. God’s not going to look and me and ask me why I didn’t preach like Chuck Swindoll or David Jeremiah. He’s going to ask me if I preached like Lee Modlin. He doesn’t hold me to some unattainable goal. He expects me to use the gifts and abilities that He has given me. He expects me to be busy doing something for the kingdom according to the abilities that He has blessed me with. That goes for all of us. We don’t know when Jesus will return. What we do know is that He wants us doing his His work until He returns. What He will not tolerate is for us to just sit back and do nothing.
Grace and peace.