Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy


Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

The parable of the talents

My mentions of "stewardship," the most prudent use of every gift God provides to help further His kingdom and serve the greatest good it can, brought a reminder from Sallie Covolo of the best exposition and defense of that principle ever, the parable of the talents. Jesus told the story to His listeners as recorded in Matthew's Gospel, 25:14-30. Though the medieval church taught that charging interest on loans was the sin of usury, in the intervening years the interpretation of the parable has become more literal, and therefore the church's view has become more favorable to banking and investing in business ventures.

So (having lost my enthusiasm for defending my cheapness and boasting of my own stewardship), I'm rounding out this week's Jonal output by sharing the parable here, in my slightly paraphrased rendering from the New King James Version. Jesus is narrating:

The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his servants and delivered his goods to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But the one who had received one talent went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, "Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Look, I have gained five more talents besides them." His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."

He also who had received two talents came and said, "Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them." His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, so I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, "Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours." But his lord answered and said to him, "You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Will your Master tell you to "enter into the joy of your Lord"? Or will you be party to the weeping and gnashing of teeth?

What are your talents? What have you done to make the most of them?

What is the meaning of the Lord's saying, "to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away"? Can you think of any other parable that has a similar perplexing warning?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

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