“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
“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!’
“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
“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!’” (Matthew 25:14-23)
Can Jesus trust us? The kingdom of God was compared to the faithfulness of a wealthy man’s servants who handled his investments while he was away. The Gospel of Luke presents a similar parable, but the purpose of the trip and the amounts of money and the number of servants differs from what Matthew describes. But Jesus’ point remains the same in both versions, perhaps told in different times and circumstances.
Here in Matthew, Jesus posits that the servants were given “talents” of money. A talent was sixty times larger than what the servants in Luke were given. A “talent” was the equivalent of nearly one hundred pounds worth of silver. It would have represented what a day laborer might have earned in twenty years worth of hard labor. It was an enormous amount of money.
God has entrusted us with an enormous responsibility. Into our hands, he has given us the wealth of his kingdom. He has left to us the choice of what to do with it. His hope is that we will invest in wisely and use it to advance his kingdom. How do we do that? He wants us to spend it on the lives of everyone we meet.