Matthew 25:14-30 - The parable of the stewards.
In this parable, Jesus tells the tale of a master who places certain stewards in charge of his finances. The three men were given 5, 2, and 1 talents respectively (A talent was the monetary figure of the day) and were told to use it to bring profit to the estate. The first two invested wisely and on the day of accounting demonstrated a competency verifying their master's trust. The third man did nothing with his charge other than to dig a hole, hide the money, and blame his own laziness on the master.
How often do you and I read this parable and rush to the 'good stuff' at the end? We celebrate the good stewards and point to the certain doom of the lazy man. Then we think ourselves wise enough to assign places in the tale to people we know. "He's a 2 talent guy....She's a 5 talent gal.....He's a lazy, do-nothing 1 talent bum." Why do we rush past the master and the one key phrase which puts the whole tale into perspective? The master entrusted his property to the servants "each according to his ability."
The master knew his servants, knew their abilities, and he trusted them to act wisely and prudently in his absence. The master knew his servants. He gave them responsibilities that he knew they could handle. First and foremost, this parable is about the knowledge of God. He knows us and knows our competencies, fears, weaknesses, and strengths. This story is about the wisdom of God. He knows how much responsibility to give us so that we can grow as men & women in His kingdom. This tale is about the mercy of God. The master knew the harsh view the third servant harbored regarding his personality. Yet even knowing this, the master gave the servant one more opportunity to get beyond himself and find the joy of service.
What does God know about your abilities? Your circumstances?
What has God given you today to put to use in His kingdom work?
What mercy has shown you by giving you one more chance to get it right this time, even if getting it right is taking one small, meager step of faith?
What does God know?