I wish Jesus had not said that…
…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.
(Luke 12:48, ESV)
If ever there was a statement I wish Jesus had not said, it would be this one. When I first read it, I was absolutely terrified! I immediately began to ponder… “what will Jesus require of me?!” I started making a mental inventory of what I thought had been given to me. “I can do this…or I can do that…but, PLEASE do not ask me to do that…!” Jesus quickly reminded me that He was the Giver of the talents (gifts, abilities) and ultimately, they belonged to Him. Whatever He would “require” was at His discretion. It was not up to me.
I knew one thing for certain…it called for personal action and accountability on my part. Not excuses!
The present day usage of the word “talent,” to indicate an ability or gift, is actually derived from the “Parable of the Talents” found in Matthew 25:14-30. In this story, we read of a wealthy individual who is going away on a long journey and entrusting three of his servants with His property. He knew them well enough to know what they were capable of, in that he gave to each according to their ability. They knew that one day the master would return and they would have to give an account for how they managed what had been entrusted to them.
The first two servants immediately took their allotment and worked to double it. The third servant buried his one talent in the ground and offered excuses for why he did nothing with it, when the master returned.
In Romans 12:6 (NLT), we see that, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Cor. 12:4-6, NIV)
Like the servants in this parable, we have a choice. We have been entrusted by our Master (Jesus) with spiritual gifts, abilities, experiences, skills, journeys, training, etc. all of which make us unique. God has a plan for your life and invites you and me to join Him in making a difference in His Kingdom.
… To whom much has been given, much is required.
Will we make excuses that will sideline us… fear, insecurity, making comparisons, apathy, busyness, too old, dealing with our own stuff, or flat out disobey? Or will we make ourselves available…even if we do not know what it will require of us.
I can tell you this…
1) You can never out-dream God. He has a way of multiplying our efforts to do so much more than we can possibly imagine.
2) The rewards of using your “talents” for the glory of Jesus far out-weigh any sacrifices in our personal lives.
To hear these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much (put you in charge of many things). Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21) is the greatest reward of all!
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2, NIV)
Now it's YOUR turn! I'd love for you to share your thoughts on one or two of these questions that I'm challenging you to think about and answer. You can comment below so we can learn from and encourage one another!
What is your response to Jesus' teaching on "to whom much is given, much is required?" Does that excite you or reveal personal anxiety/fear? Why?
Have you been like the servants who invested and multiplied the "talents" they received or like the one who hid the talent? Why?
If you're using your talents, I'd love for you to share what it is the Lord has "entrusted" you to do.