Luke 19:26, MKJV
“For I say to you that to everyone who has, more will be given. And from him who has not, even that which he has will be taken from him.”
Surely, the ‘Parable of the Talents’ is all about using our God-given talents and receiving a reward from our grateful King when we do so, isn’t it? But then there’s this sudden kick at the end. The grateful King unexpectedly seems hard and vindictive. Even His servants, who know Him well, are surprised. It’s not fair! What’s going on here?
The unfaithful servant was mainly condemned, not because he made no profit, but because he had a wrong understanding of the character of the King, and acted out of fear, not faith. So in verse 22 the King says ‘I will judge you by your own words’ (rather than judging him with grace and mercy). He quotes back to the servant the very words that he said. Then, the single coin is taken away and given to the most productive servant, which is just what a fearful servant might expect a hard and unjust king to do.
The parable is not so much about using our talents successfully as about recognising the character of the One who gives them. The first two servants were commended and rewarded, not for being clever or industrious, but for being faithful and trustworthy. They were willing to take a personal risk of failure, because they understood how loving and gracious their King was.
God wants us to take a similar risk with what He’s given to us, which will show how much we love, trust and obey Him. Are you willing to take that risk, even the risk of failure, or have you judged the King to be hard and demanding? Your decision could have eternal consequences!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the talents that You’ve given me. Help me to recognise them and use them for You, even though I’m not sure how it will turn out. I’d rather be found faithful than successful. Amen.