The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Loaned Money
The second parable in the services and obedience category is the parable of the loaned money; also known as the parable of the talents. I particularly like referring to it as ‘loaned money’ because that alone preaches for itself. This parable is found in Matthew 25:14-30. I would encourage you to read the parable. It is a fairly long passage for me to post but the summary of it is this.
A man was going on a trip and gave out money to his three servants. Two of them traded with theirs and got profit. But the third hid his, and as such, got nothing. The man returns and addresses the situation he met; giving praise where praise was due and reproof where it was needed.
A loan is anything that is borrowed, especially a sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest. The money given to these servants was borrowed to them. Interestingly, the man didn’t tell any of servants what to do with the money. He also didn’t give the servants the same amount of money. Verse 15 of the bible passage tells us that they all were given money according to their own abilities.
The money in this passage refers to the gifts and resources which God has given to everyone. This isn’t limited to spiritual gifts. It also includes our time and resources. Considering the fact that we are given our gifts based on our abilities, it is safe to say that they are given equally. No one received more or less than he/she could handle. So an excuse of “I failed because I was overwhelmed” isn’t justifiable because the Giver of gifts knows exactly what we can handle.
Out of the three servants, two traded and made profits. One dug his in the ground because of the hatred he had for his master. There are 2 reasons why we don’t use our gifts according to this parable.
- Hatred towards our Master
The issue is not how much we have but how well we are using what we have been given. God expects us to invest what we have wisely. If He has given us 3 kids, He expects us to invest in them wisely. If He has given us jobs, business, marriages, ministries, etc., He expects us to invest in them wisely.
In Genesis 1:28, God commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. The first two servants obeyed this command. Every living thing is meant to grow and not stay dormant.
Jesus is coming back and when He returns, He is expecting our seeds (gifts, talents, time, resources, etc) to have yielded result. We can only have good results when we invest our resources because of our love for our Master.
The 3rd servant did nothing with his money because he hated his master and he was only thinking of himself. He forgot that that money wasn’t his. When we ignore, squander or abuse what God has given us, we are rebellious and deserve to be punished. The 3rd servant didn’t escape punishment just as no one will escape on the day of judgement.
I understand the strain this coronavirus season is putting on all of us. It can be very tempting to just watch Netflix and chill all day, every day. However it is important for us to know that we are not on a kingdom break. We have to continuously pay attention to how we are stewarding the gifts God has given us.
In this season where COVID-19 is wreaking havoc, are we enacting fear into our homes or are we speaking faith and peace? I am not saying we should be in denial of what is happening but we truly need to know when the bad news becomes too much. Guarding our hearts is very important in this season and if you are a parent, you have a responsibility to help control what your kids are listening to.
What are we doing with our time? We can no longer say we don’t have time to pray. God has hit the ‘reset button’ in our lives and even though some of us are still working, we at least don’t have to wake up super early to catch the train or bus. That extra 1 hour is a blessing that we can give back to God.
How about our gifts and talents? Are we ignoring them or do we think they are too little and will make no difference? How are we trying to still serve in this season? The call for us to be light of the world and salt of the earth is not seasonal. We are to be light and salt always including in coronavirus season.
Are we still good stewards of our time? Or are we allowing idleness to rob us of this precious gift that God has given us? Are we looking at creative ways to continue ministry? Are we still encouraging others?
Are we diligent with our jobs and businesses? Now that we don’t have our bosses looking over our shoulders, are we doing the barest minimum thinking no one can see us?
Everything we have is a gift. We will tell our Master how well we have used them. May we hear ‘well done’ in the end.
Next time on this series, we will be looking at the Parable of the servant’s role.
–Efua Uke is a United Kingdom-based mentor, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website Grace Over Pain. You can see the full article there.