Choosing Love

Collective Talents

Posted by Alex Lang on

Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

This Sunday in our sermon series, Hidden Angels, we will be discussing God’s expectations in how we use our talents for God’s kingdom. When we use the word talent in English, what we mean by that is someone who possesses a natural aptitude or a skill. But that was not the original intention behind the word talent. In fact, the meaning of the word talent we know today is derived from the parable of the talents found in Matthew’s gospel.

So this parable begins with a man who is about to go out on a journey. He summons three of his slaves and entrusts his property to them. In other words, he gives his slaves his money and wants them to invest his money on his behalf. To one slave, the master gives five talents; to another he gives two; and to the final slave he gives one. We can assume that he gives more money to the slave he trusts more and less to the person he trusts less. But exactly how much money is he entrusting these slaves to invest? In order to explain this to you, we need to understand what a talent is?

A talent is a particular measurement of a precious metal, like silver or gold. In Israel, a talent of silver weighed about 100 pounds and a talent of gold weighed about 200 pounds. Now the parable doesn’t tell us whether the talents are silver or gold, but for fun, let’s assume they’re gold. In today’s money, one talent of gold would be worth $3.5 million dollars. So this is what the final slave would be receiving as his seed money for investment. The second slave would be receiving $7 million and the first slave was given $17.5 million.

So the way the parable goes is that first slave begins investing the money through trading and very quickly finds himself with a doubled amount—10 talents or $35 million. The second does the same and doubles his investment bringing back 4 talents or $14 million. The final slave, who was given the least, buries his talent in the ground, making no return on the owner’s investment.

When the master returns home, he calls the slaves to give an accounting of his money. It’s the responses to these three slaves that will occupy our time this Sunday. What does God expect us to do with our talents and what will happen to us if we refuse to use them? The answers to these questions are critical to our church remaining a thriving community. Don’t forget that Sunday is the end of Day Light Savings! I look forward to seeing you there. Enjoy the weekend!

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