December 13, 2018
Last night at youth group we continued in Jesus’ parables, this time landing in Matthew 25 on “The Parable of the Talents.” It’s a well known parable about a master and three servants, each of which the master gives a different number of “talents” to while he goes away on a journey. Now, just like in every parable, Jesus is telling a fictional story that connects back to the real world. We know from the culture and the language that the talents that are given to each servant are actually large sums of money (the current day value being hundreds of thousands of dollars), and it’s clear that the master expects the servants to invest this money for the benefit of the master.
We focused primarily on the last servant who was given only one talent, because Jesus seems to place his emphasis on this servant. Instead of using the talent, this servant goes and bury’s it in the ground, stating that he believes the master to be “a hard man.” We don’t get much background on the master, but we know that the other two servants do not have this view of the master. They use the talents and double what the master entrusted to them. So, we talked about why the servant with one talent didn’t use it. Ultimately, we thought that it was because the master gave more talents to the other servants than he did to the last servant who received only one. In pride, this last servant decided that the master was unfair to do such a thing, calling him unfair and hard.
The application was in how we look at our own talents (God given gifts of time, money, abilities, etc.) in relationship to God. We have a choice to make: do we look at what everyone else received and declare that God is unjust for giving us our specific talents? Or do we look at what God has given us, give thanks for it, and use it for the benefit of His glory and name? God gives different measures of gifts and talents to different people for his own purposes and plans, and he is not unjust in doing so. Our job as Christians is to not to look/wish for what we don’t have, it is to use what we do have!
We had a good night, and a good time talking about these things in small group. Next week will be our last week in the parables, and then we’ll take a short break from YG for Christmas.