Read: Matthew 25:14-30
Enter into the joy of your master. (v. 21)
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 is one of the most often-used stewardship texts. I’ve heard of pastors who have given members of their congregation amounts of money and a limited time period to see what they can do for the kingdom of God with that money.
But there are problems with reading this parable exclusively as a financial lesson. To begin with, not everyone has the gift (or wants the burden) of making money. On top of that, making this parable solely about money opens it to misinterpretation. Is Jesus advising us to make risky investments? Buy stocks instead of bonds? Gamble?
These readings distort how parables work. For example, when Jesus told the parable of the sower, he wasn’t really talking about farming. In this case, Jesus isn’t really talking about investing; he’s talking about life. He’s saying do something with what you’ve been given, do something with the gospel that has been entrusted to you, do something with your life!
If we free this parable from only speaking about money, we see almost limitless possibilities for application. It can speak to topics as diverse as the care of our planet to the care of our most significant relationships. The message of Matthew 25 is much more than “invest wisely.” It’s live, love, work, and serve in such a way so that when you stand in front of your master one day, he says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” —Jeff Munroe
As you pray, ask God to help you to be a good and faithful servant.
About the Author
Jeff Munroe is the editor of the Reformed Journal and, in addition to being the author of the best-selling book Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher, is also a poet, blogger, and essayist. His work has appeared in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, US Catholic, and The Reformed Journal.