The Parable of the Talents
Parables of Jesus
For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Matthew 25:29 (NIV)
Do you have some gift with which God has blessed you? (Give the children time to respond.) Perhaps God has gifted you with a musical talent like singing or playing an instrument. Some of you may have been given athletic skills which make you very good in playing a sport. Maybe you have intellectual gifts which enable you to do very well in school. No matter what gift God has given you I know that he has given each and every one of you some gift.
When God has given you a gift, he expects something in return. What does he expect? He expects you to take that gift and use it for his glory and improve upon the gift he has given you. God would be very disappointed in you if you just sat back and did nothing with what he has given you, wouldn't he? I think so. In fact, that is what our Bible lesson today is about.
Our Bible lesson today is one of the parables of Jesus. What is a parable? It is a story that teaches a lesson. The parable that we will learn from today is sometimes called "The Parable of the Talents". (Some versions call it by other names such as "The Parable of Bags of Gold".
Jesus tells the story of a man who went off on a long trip. Before he left, he called all of his servants together gave each of them a part of his wealth to take care of while he was gone. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to a third he gave one bag. Then he left on his journey.
While he was gone, the servant who had five bags of gold worked very hard and increased that amount to ten bags of gold. The man who had been given two bags of gold also earned two more. But the servant who had been given one bag dug a hole and buried his master's money.
When the master returned, he called his servants together and asked them to give an account of what they had done with the gifts he had given them. When the first two told their master that they had doubled what he had given them, he praised them saying, "Well done! Because you have been faithful with what I have given you, I will give you much more."
The third servant told the master, "I was afraid, so I took what you gave me and hid it in the ground so that it would be safe."
"You lazy servant!" the master answered. "You could have at least invested what I gave you with the bankers so that I could have at least earned a little interest on it." He then took the gold from him and gave it to the one who already had the most. He explained, "To those who improve upon what they have been given will be given more. But from those who do nothing, what they have been given will be taken away."
Sometimes you and I may look at the talents that God has given to others and think that God hasn't given us very much talent. We might even be tempted to hide our talent. But when we use our God-given talent to be all that God intended for us to be, he will give us even more!
Our Father, we thank you for the gifts that you have given each of us. We pray that we will be faithful in using these gifts to bring honor and glory to your name. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.