AM I A GOOD STEWARD OF MY TALENTS?
His master said, ‘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.
(Mat 25:21 NASB)
I have heard, more than once, that Believers apply the parable of The Talents to their natural gifting as a talent received from God, such as their ability to be creative or their ability to excel in business, etc. There is no doubt that you are called, as Believer, ‘to do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve,’ (Col 3:23-24). Thus, we have many examples, like Joseph and Daniel, who did their daily work in excellence and glorified God in doing so. But that is not the principle truth of the parable on The Talents!
The master, our Lord and King, Jesus, has received a Kingdom from His Father, (Luke 19:12; Is 9:6-7; Dan 7:13-14). After His death and resurrection, the Master and King ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-53), to intercede for His people as Priest-King at the right hand of the Father (Heb 10:10-12; 1 John 2:1-2), where heaven must hold Him UNTIL the time of restoration (Acts 3:19-21), when He will return to make a footstool of all His enemies (Heb 10:11-13), on ‘the war of the great day of God, the Almighty,’ Armageddon, (Rev 16:15-21; Rev 19). Until that great day of His return and our resurrection, Messiah will rule His Kingdom, in our hearts, from the Heavenly Tabernacle, (Luke 17:20-21; Phil 3:20-21; Col 3:1-4). YET, we are all to partake of the administration of Messiah’s Kingdom, for He was to entrust each one with certain responsibilities in order to spread His Kingdom (Mat 10:5-15; Mark 16:15-20), and to build His House (-hold), (1 Cor 3:6-15; 1 Peter 2:1-10).
The “talents” in this parable represent an amount of money entrusted to His servants in order to equip them for the work they have to do in His Kingdom while He is away (in heaven). In the context of this parable, it seems clear that each ‘citizen of heaven’ will receive a different level of responsibility, and it does not depend on ‘how much has been entrusted,’ but how faithful the servant will be over that which has been entrusted to him.
We know that the apostle Paul taught extensively on the Gifts of Christ, saying, ‘But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift’ (Eph 4:7), ‘And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ,’ (Eph 4:11-13). The apostle James warned, ‘Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment,’ (James 3:1). If more has been entrusted to a Believer in one of these areas of the Gifts of Christ, over that portion the individual will receive stewardship, and accordingly, give an account on Judgment Day, (Eph 6:7-8; Mat 16:27; 2 Cor 5:9).
Moreover, every Believer in Christ Jesus is also entrusted with one or more Gift of the Spirit, for God ordained that the Kingdom, under the New Covenant, will be administrated by His Spirit of Truth, (2 Cor 3). To build up the faith of fellow Believers, the Gifts of the Spirit are distributed among the different members of the Body, as indicated by the apostle Paul, ‘But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit [and so it continues in the same chapter to cover the variety of gifts], (1 Cor 12:7-10). [Insertion added by the author.] Unless used for the edification and building of the Body, the Gifts of the Spirit will bring confusion and disorder, thus the warning to use them in an ordered fashion, and not to allow women to assume leadership positions in the body, (1 Cor 14:26-40; 1 Cor 11:1-12).
The Master does not require the same of each of His servants, for the gifts and the calling of each one will be different, (Mat 25:15). The emphasis in this parable is not how much each slave received in stewardship, but each one’s faithfulness over that which was entrusted to him, (Mat 25:16-23). If one is faithful over the few things entrusted to him, the Mater will put him in charge of many things, and he will enter into the joy of his master, (Mat 25:21). The wicked and lazy slave, on the other hand, will also give an account for even the little that was entrusted to him, yet he will be condemned, ‘And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,’ (Mat 25:30).
And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
(Luke 12:48 b)