I really like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 – it’s all about the concept of responsibility and our role in that (mainly concerning other people but also towards God – kind of a hand in hand thing). I will explain some of the parable and what I see it meaning.
“entrusted his property to them” (vs.14)
This can be seen a few ways actually – but scripture is pretty confident God created the world and has also disseminated His teachings…so what are we entrusted? I think we are entrusted his teachings and how we enact those in the places we live (the world).
“each according to his ability” (vs. 15)
The master gives each person what he can handle – or are called only to account for what they know and understand. One gets 5, another 2, and another 1…it’s not all the same but neither are we all the same maturity- do what you can with you’re given/with what you learned.
“settled accounts with them” (vs. 19)
At some point God calls us into account for our actions and what we did with what we learned. I don’t know how this all works mind you – just know that we were ‘entrusted his property’ and we’re asked to be responsible with it…I have no problem whatsoever with God calling me into account for the way I used His teachings, how I treated others, or cared for the ‘world’ around me.
“You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Vs. 21, 23)
The parable is about this single thing – being responsible and it’s various levels. Jesus seems to want us to be ‘good stewards’ of each other and good about the teachings we read (ex: mercy, justice, peace, faith, hope, etc). The responsibility falls upon us as to what we do with what we read – how we enact and elaborate on these ideas – it doesn’t fall on churches, communities, or parents – but ‘I’ (singular). And this isn’t a ‘bad thing’ – responsibility is a ‘good thing’ – it helps us mature in life.
“‘I knew that you are a hard man…So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you” (vs. 24-25)
Oddly enough the person that does nothing with what he is given knew the master’s character and yet still did nothing. Or maybe it was the master’s percieved character that was the probem – caused the person to be ‘afraid’? Fear, in this story, is not the great motivator – but the great de-activator. The other 2 say nothing about the master’s character whatsoever – but enjoyed the fact they were entrusted something (maybe they saw the master as kind?).
“‘You wicked, lazy servant!” (vs. 26)
B-I-N-G-O. This person is ‘lazy’ – and knew better – yet still did what they did. I know this person, I have been this person from time to time. And for what I lacked, I lied to others about.
“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (vs.29)
This is the point of the story. If we want to gain more in life – we need to be willing to enact the teachings we learn and live via them. At some point we will find we have gained a lot from life and it feels ‘great’ or we will ‘continue to share in our master’s happiness!’. But if we do not use these teachings, and just leave, and ditch morality – even what we have will soon be gone – and we will be left with nothing and this is painful (weeping and gnashing of teeth).
I see this as Jesus teaching people about living according to God’s teachings, helping others, and via that process we are built up. Then in that process we realize just how responsible we truly are and if we can ‘live up to our words’. We have been promised something – and it’s these teachings – and to those who find their meaning – see these teachings as ‘priceless’. But in the same breath – we are to use them and not hide them – cause who hides treasure from their friends?