The parable of the talents: a different look

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The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

What I am about to say here is  not a doctrinal statement but an observation. 

Sometimes I think the parable of the talents is meant to show us the difference of 2 kinds of believers. You would notice that the 1st and 2nd servants sowed and earned monies for their master and were greatly rewarded. The 3rd said his master was a hard man and kept the monies entrusted to him. 

I once said the first 2 sowed in faith and the 3rd sowed in law. I sometimes wondered why the 3rd servant behaved so? I guess it’s because of the way the last perceived his master. Was his master really a hard man? 

It’s incredible how the first 2 were generously rewarded. The 3rd man was severely punished. I sometimes ask, ‘can this be the same man?’ 

This is my point. I believe we project our image of ourselves to God. If you are a hard man then your idea of God would be one who is strict and demanding. If you are a man full of grace your idea of God is one of grace. 

Jesus however is the perfect representation. He is strict with those who believe in being righteous by works. Gracious to those hopelessly stuck in sin. 

I guess that’s why there are some who find that the Christian life can be a breeze and yet there are some who find that the Christian life is a cross they must bear. 

Personally, I have observe this: Those who wants to bear a cross usually would want others to do the same. Those who are liberated wants others to be liberated. 

I find this dichotomy interesting. God can be love to one and judge to another. I guess we project ourselves more to our picture more than we know. 

My only qualm in this God is not who we project him to be. God is who Jesus projects him to be. I believe I am consistent in saying this. He was hard to those who were hard on others. He was gracious on those who couldn’t help themselves. 

The point of the parable I believe is this. Your produce depends really not on how hard you work. Rather it depends how you view God. If you see him as gracious you will act in faith and take risks. If you see him as judgmental you will be extremely law observant and be safe. 

Here’s my point. The 1st 2 earned money. The 3rd didn’t. He also lost his freedom. What kind of God does Jesus want you to believe in?

That one that walk in the cool breeze of the evening or the God that places a cross on you after he nailed his Son to one? 

This is why I believe the Christian life is one I walk with joy. It’s because my God love garden walks.

Genesis 3:8

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the [a]cool of the day.

That was the first time man hid from God. When he walked in the garden in the cool of the day. Did you know Jesus bled in another garden to allow you to be the garden God enjoys? You are now his temple. 

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