In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a sobering parable, the parable of the talents:
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”
The first thing to notice: The master entrusted them with a lot. At first glance, I’m tempted to think that one or two talents isn’t much, but it is actually quite a bit! A talent in that day would be worth more than $400,000 today (definitely not something to sneeze at).
The second thing to notice: the master entrusted his servants each according to his own ability. God knows what we can handle, and He doesn’t give us any more than that; and it doesn’t matter if He gives someone else more than what He gives us, because what may seem little or insignificant to us might actually have great worth.
What appears to be a tiny rock may be a priceless diamond.
“Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.”
Look at what these servants did with what their master gave them. They were faithful with what they were given, and didn’t scoff at it.
“But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.”
This servant didn’t see the value in what he had been given. He didn’t look ahead to the time when his master would come back and hold him accountable for what he had done, or rather, what he hadn’t done.
“After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.”
Our Lord is also coming back to settle accounts with us, His servants. What will He find when He comes?
“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. ‘He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “
Both servants were faithful with what their lord had given them and had doubled their treasure. They were each given different amounts, and produced different amounts, but look at what their lord says to them.
‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
He says the same thing to both servants. It didn’t matter that one had more than the other to begin with, or that one made more than the other in the end. They were both faithful with what He gave them, and He rewarded them for their faithfulness.
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “
Imagine how this servant felt just then… What did he do with his portion? He buried it. Why? He was afraid. How often do I use my fear as an excuse for not sharing my faith? How often do I hide away what my Lord has given me, when I should be using it for His glory?
“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “
What a different response to this servant than to the others! A wicked servant. A lazy servant. An unprofitable servant.
What am I doing with what my Lord has given me? Am I being lazy and unprofitable and wicked? Am I burying the gifts He has entrusted to me?
Or am I seeing the value in what “diamond” He has given me, and using it for His glory?
Remember the words of Hudson Taylor, “Little things are little things. But faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.”
So use your diamond.