Matthew 25:15 – To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. (ESV)
I skimmed over Matthew's parable of the talents this morning, knowing the parable's content, yet I gained a new insight.
As someone who has sympathised with the poor chap who was given a single talent as a reluctant servant, I have always found it a discomfort to see, in the seed of his reluctance, his downfall.
Although it has been many a year since I was a religious education teacher, I taught that there is only a single purpose in a parable: a story with a single meaning, to portray the significance to its listeners of the new paradigm kingdom of God. They are not to be allegorised, because they were meant to be vivid and immediate — attention grabbing. Parables are designed simply to take us by the hand and guide us over a bridge from our worldly view into His, to illustrate a part of the Kingdom of God on earth through Jesus' Sonship.
There are various talent search shows in vogue at the present time, both here in Britain and also in the USA. They allow those who seek such the opportunity to display their talent to the waiting judges and audiences. They have been a rich vein of entertainment to some.
Today, I recognised a complete contrast between the man of the single talent, given according to his ability, and the other servants. They, unlike him, but like the hopefuls on the television, wanted to make the most of what they had been given. They wanted to be recognised as able, to demonstrate their abilities; they wanted to shine, to be lifted up to greater things.
No limelight for me; but neither will I bury my talent in fear, because I know God loves me and loves those I meet. He gives to us according to our abilities, so that we can rightly bring forth fruit.
Prayer: Lord, we rejoice in what has been given to us. Let us not be deceived into desiring what is not of You. Please grant us the courage to mature the gifts given to us so that we can be found bearing fruit when You call us to account. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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