Matthew 25:14-18

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” Matthew 25:14-18

I love David Letterman’s new show on Netflix. He interviews interesting people. The other day I watched his interview with Jerry Seinfeld. At one point, as Jerry is showering praise on Letterman for the cultural contributions he made, Letterman – in classic Midwestern fashion – does the “awshucks, go on, it was nothing” thing. Letterman says his career was “selfish.” Immediately Seinfeld challenges him. To Seinfeld, the work they did was generous.

Seinfeld said that it is like God gives you a “talent horse” and then your job is to ride it where it takes you. It took both of them to a place where they made people laugh. That was their contribution to the world. It was worthwhile.

The “talents” in this story don’t refer to the same kind of talents that Seinfeld. These talents refer to very large sums of money. But – for Seinfeld at least – those two things go together. He had to work very hard for a long time to make it as he did…but so does someone who shingles homes in the Texas sun. They too have a talent. They too might use it to the best of their ability. They might do OK but they aren’t going to get Seinfeld rich doing it.

So the world then jumps in and decides that the roofer “got by” while Seinfeld was a “huge success.” But that isn’t what the parable says.

Yes, it does say that the talents were unequal…but that isn’t to say that the wise manager wasn’t shrewd enough to realize which of his servants had the right “talent horse” to do the most with what he was given. And I don’t know how long the master was away but doubling one’s money is quite the profit.

But the point…don’t we all see it?…is the poor guy who was afraid of the boss so he put the money away for safekeeping only to end up losing everything.

I don’t know what you’re good at, or what you are passionate about, or how much money you make, or how much money you started life with…but the warning in this text is not to bury it because you fear the boss. The boss is a GOOD boss! The boss is a GRACIOUS boss! The boss LOVES YOU! Make the most OF your life for others…which has little or nothing to do with what you make IN your life for your boss, yourself, or anyone else.

Let us pray: Thank you Lord for entrusting the gift of life to us and for giving us gifts that allow us to be useful, helpful, loving, and just with others. Help us make the most of our gifts. And if we already have something buried in the backyard, let today be the day we dig it back up and do our best with it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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3 Responses to “Matthew 25:14-18”

  1. Dave Armstrong Says:

    Well said! I am sending this devotion around to people I know who are just getting started in careers. Again, Welcome back! We all missed you!!

  2. Dave Armstrong Says:

    Thanks for the refreshing insight…..

  3. Carolee Groux Says:

    We pray that God will lead us to identify our talents and to recognize the talents of others. May we learn how best to use our talents and those of others to glorify our Lord and Master. Amen.

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