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The Parable of the Talents

14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30, NRSV)

This is an interesting story. And people have wondered for a while what it is meant to teach us. It is about a man who is going on vacation or a trip and gives the servants in his home talents to take care of while he is gone.

A talent is a measure of weight for gold. 1 Talent is equal to about 75 U.S. pounds. So just to give an example in today’s values, on February 22, 2019, when I typed this devotional the value of 1 ounce of Gold was $1,323.24. So 1 Talent would equal $1,587,888! and 10,000 would be $15,878,880,000! That is over 15 Billion.

So he gave one servant 5 talents, one two and one one. He left expecting them to use the talents to get more.

And 2 do but one doesn’t want to risk losing the talent because he is afraid of what the master will do to him. He doesn’t do anything but bury the talent.

If we say that talent is a gift we get, how many of us bury our talent? We don’t use the gift we have been given for fear of what others will say. But we are gifted to use that talent so the world can see the love God has for all of us.

Now the story is hard to take that way because God is not one who reaps where He doesn’t sow and I don’t want to think that God is one who would take away from one who has little and give to one who has much. But how else can we see this story?

God gifted us. Don’t bury it.

 

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More Teaching

22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:22-24, NRSV)

The eye is the lamp of the body. How is your sight?

Where are you looking?

Remember you can not serve 2 masters. You will really only serve one and despise the other.

So are you looking at Jesus or are you looking at something else?

 

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The Law Concerning Slaves

These are the ordinances that you shall set before them: When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,” then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life. When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money. (Exodus 21:1-11, NRSV)

You shall keep the Hebrew slave for 6 years, but in the seventh year, he shall be set free! No long-term slavery. Unless he chooses to after he is released.

Then the master takes him to the post and drives an awl through his ear and gives him a ring and he becomes the master’s slave for life. The male slave likes his place there so the master puts a ring on it!

That is what I tell people happened to me, that I loved serving God, that God pierced my ears!

Has God pierced your ears?

 

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Jesus Washes Feet

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (John 13:1-17, NRSV)

Do you know what I have done?

The person who is the master has become the Servant. The one who should be served has taken the role of the one serving. And because of this, we are all called to serve others.

The point is made by John that Judas was there and was one whose feet were washed. Jesus wants us to serve even those we know will do us harm.

Can you serve like this?

 

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ὀπίσω μου

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? (Matthew 16:21-26, NRSV)

ὀπίσω μου. Literally, this means get behind me.

When Peter rebuked Jesus, Jesus rebuked him. Peter did not understand the plan and what needed to happen, and so tried to force his plan on God. To quote the beginning of the movie, My Sister’s Keeper, “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!”

You see Jesus tells all of us to come along with Him, but he also says ὀπίσω μου. We need to know our place with Jesus, He is our friend and our brother, but he is also our Lord and our Master, and we need to see the back of His head when we are following Him.

So are you ready to give you our plans and ὀπίσω μου?

 

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highly

160811Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. (Luke 12:41-48, NRSV)

The person who thinks, “well the master is delayed, so I can do what I want…”

Is the person who thinks more highly of themselves than they ought.

You see, when the master comes back, and finds the servant not doing what they should, the master will not be happy. And the master will handle the issue.

Which brings us to Jesus, our master. How will He handle servants not doing what they ought? That is yet to be seen, but to everyone who has been given, much will be required.

Are we living our lives in such a way that Jesus is shining through us, and we are living for His imminent return?

If Jesus walked through the door now, would He find you working for the kingdom, or slacking off?

 

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2 masters

160809“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:19-24, NRSV)

No one can serve 2 masters…

Meaning we can not be devoted to more than 1 thing.

Our lives will teeter back and forth if we try to have more than 1 object of devotion.

One can not desire and go after wealth and possessions if one is following after God.

Now this does not mean that one will not have wealth and possessions if one is following after God, but the wealth and possessions will not be the end all be all. They will not be the focus of the person, but merely a tool that God has given them to use in His work.

So store up treasure in God, and trust not in possessions or wealth!

 

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