Posts Tagged ‘parable of the talents’

This year, I am going to post creative challenges from God’s Word, the idea is simple, read the passage and create something based on it.

In this vein of gifts and talents consider

Matthew 25:14-30

It’s called the parable of the bags of gold, but I like the old name better, the parable of the talents. It’s an illustration Jesus gave to help believers to understand faithful service to God using our gifts (among other things). The master, representing God, invests some of his wealth (talents) in His servants… US! The reaction of the servants to this gift is telling for us all. How would you interpret it to the people around you? How are you investing what God has invested in you?

If you’ve ever wanted to see what I do in person, I got a great new video clip made from my friend Mark Myers at Smoky Roberts Film and Video Productions. He did a great job. I really love this message because it really sums up my passion for ministry and Mark did a great job capturing it.
I really hope you’ll take the time to check it out.

There once was an old patron of the arts who was leaving town for a while, so he gathered his little colony of artists together for a going away party. To one artist he gave five talents, to another he issued two talents, and to yet another he entrusted one talent. After they drove their benefactor to the airport, the artists all went their separate ways (as artists often do) Several months later, the old patron returned, all rested and suntanned. The artist who was given five talents eagerly met him at the gate. “Master, you entrusted me with five talents and look, I’ve gained five more talents,” he enthused.

“Well done,” said the patron. “I am full of joy. You were faithful and I will give you even more.”

The artist who was given two talents ran down the concourse shouting, “Master, you entrusted me with two talents, and look, I’ve gained two more talents.”

“Well done,” said the old man. “I am full of overjoyed. You were faithful and I will give you even more.”

The artist who was given one talent was waiting by the baggage claim. “Master,” he sheepishly started, “I didn’t want you to get mad at me. I’m pretty sensitive, you know, and I don’t handle rejection very well, and it’s so had being an artist in this cold, cruel world. I wasn’t really good enough to make it big-time, because you only gave me one talent, so I didn’t do anything with my talent. I hid it. Here, you can have it back.” The artist opened his hand and looked straight down at his shoes. The talent was as new and undeveloped as the day he got it.

The old man was silent. The he responded in a soft voice, “My dear friend, you have squandered a fortune. I gave you something that was meant to be used. The issue was not how much I gave but what you did with what you had.”

The previous story is Rory Noland’s adaptation of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25) from his book, Heart of the Artist. When I read this, I knew I had to share it because it speaks to something I have noticed in many people, especially creatives. There is a very real temptation in us to compare ourselves with others, find ourselves lacking and give up. If we can’t be the best in the world, we don’t want to do anything. This is crazy. First of all there can only be one person who is best in the world at any given thing. Should the rest of us just give up? NO! Well, maybe, okay, yes, there is something we all need to give up. We need to give up comparing and start being faithful with what is in our hands. The very valuable gifts and talents God has given us. There are His tools for building His Kingdom and He has placed them in our hands. He’s not asking you to be the best in the world. He’s asking you to do the best you can.

At the end of the day, there is one thing that each of us can be the best in the world at being. It’s you. Think about it. You are a one of a kind masterpiece created by the greatest artist there has ever been, God Himself. Be the best you you can be in Him. Create what He has given you to create and give it your best, then put it out there for the world to see. No doubt someone will think your work is not that great. Go to any art museum in the world and you will see work that you don’t particularly like. Just remember, it’s still in the museum. It is there because someone thought it was beautiful, or important, or meaningful. It’s the same with your work. Some people will probably hate it. Ignore them. You are creating first for God and secondly for the people who will be touched by what you do. Those people will love you and your work and by the way they are worthy of your very best.

God has invested at least one extremely valuable talent in you.

Don’t squander your fortune!

This morning I will be speaking on the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). It’s a story Jesus told to help us understand our relationship with God. There are a lot of things in this parable that creative people need to know.

A master, a ruler is about to go away on a journey, but before he goes, he gives a portion of his wealth (called talents, a biblical measure of money) to three of his servants. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, to another, one. Before we go further I want you to notice something. I don’t think the use of the word talent is accidental. The master gives some of what it his, and something very valuable to his servants. If the master represents God in this story (and he does) and the servants represent us in this story (and they do) then maybe our talents are given by out Master (God) to be used to His glory. More that that, our talents are representative of a great spiritual truth. The fact that God gives these things of great value (talents) to us, shows something pretty cool. God believes in you. God has entrusted you and he knows you are capable of doing great things with them. God is invested in you, God loves you.

Another telling thing in this passage is the way God distributed the talents. It says he gave the talents to his servants, “each according to his ability.” This means God knows what you are capable of and gifts you accordingly. This is tremendously liberating. After all, if God knows what you are capable of and gifts you accordingly, you no longer have to compare yourself with anyone else. You simply have to be faithful and use what you have been given to the best of your ability. Comparison is deadly to us all anyway. Think about it. Comparison will either leave you discouraged (“I’ll never be as good as her”) or prideful (“He’ll never be as good as me”) both of which are counterproductive in God’s Kingdom. How much better would life work if we “kept our eyes on our own papers,” did the best we could with our strengths and used those strengths to help others in their areas of weakness?

Lastly, we have to say a word about the one talent guy. The first thing I want to call out is that I run into so many people who seem to honestly believe they have no talents. I believe that is a lie. I believe Jesus is showing us in this parable, that we all get at least one, and we need to find it and work it. Secondly, where the other two servants went to work at once, then talent servant, buried his gift in the ground, allegedly to keep it safe. Where the other two servants were praised at the master’s return, this servant was called wicked and lazy even though the master suffered no loss. Why? I believe it was because he did not trust the master to be good. The master invested in him, and he didn’t trust the master enough to use what he had been given to advance his master’s kingdom. The question is, do you?

To serve the master is to trust the master. Are you using your talents, God’s amazing investment in you, to His glory, or is there something buried that you need to dig up and put to work.

1 Peter 4:10 says “Each One should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” The things God invests in us, our gifts, talents, etc. are given so that we might serve and help others and through that help that they may receive God’s grace in a multitude of ways. To quote another verse that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in Heaven.

Time to dig those gifts and talents up and put them to work for our master.

Gos has invested in YOU!

My theme for an upcoming meeting is the word Submission and what it means to submit ourselves and our gifts to God and to those He has placed over us. Part of the meeting is going to be an invitation to create something reflecting a favorite part of Jesus’ story. I woke up with this one. It’s a sketch for a work of art I would like to create some day soon. I call it eleven bags.


It comes from this passage from Matthew 25, which says,

28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them…”

You might ask why this is a favorite part of Jesus’ story. Well it’s the end of my favorite parable, the parable of the talents. You know the story. A ruler gives a portion of his wealth to each of three servants. The unit of measure for these portions is called a talent. One servant gets five talents, another two and another one. The first two go to work at once and invest what the master invested in them, doubling what they have. The third servant, paralyzed by fear, buries the master’s investment, putting it away for safe keeping. The passage tells what happens when the master returns and finds that this servant squandered the opportunity.

Friends, I don’t believe it is an accident that the word talent was used in this parable (and to the people who publish the NIV Bible, you really messed up by changing the word in the latest edition. I “corrected” it above.). Our talents are not accidental. They are an investment from God into our lives, to be put to work for His Kingdom. He expects us to use them and not squander them, that is to say, not bury them. Fear made this servant doubt himself and his master’s goodness. Don’t make the same mistake. Our Master is good, all the time. We have nothing to fear but the fear that keeps us from living out our creative destiny. The other two servants in the story hear well done, because they invested what their master invested in them. That’s what I want.

The master in our story gives the squandered talent to one who demonstrates faithfulness. Don’t bury your talent. Put it to good use.

How are you investing what the Lord has invested in you? If you’ve buried your talents, go and dig them up and start putting them to use today.

This is the message I preached at my Home church, Ephrata Church of the Brethren. Some of you might have heard it before. It’s my message on the Parable of the Talents called Hurried, Buried and Worried. Hear it here.

Well this weekend was really awesome. Here’s a picture of me just getting started at Pocono Mountain Bible Conference.
I did two presentations in two nights, one at the Brandywine Summit Camp Meeting and the other at the aforementioned PMBC. Both were wonderful experiences and God was at work.

Here’s what’s interesting though. Up until Saturday morning I was sure I was doing a different presentation. I have a new presentation on Moses called The Prince of Egypt and the King of Kings (Paralleling the stories of Moses and Jesus) that I was pretty sure was perfect for both events. The closer it got to the event, the less peace I had about the presentation. In prayer I felt really led to do part of my Story: Parables of Jesus presentation. It happened so last minute that I didn’t even have time to get fresh supplies and had to use reused canvasses.

story posterNow just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with Story. I love it. It contains what might be my favorite Bible story of all time and I plan on doing it a lot more (You can help with that, contact me and bring me in.) I was just simply feeling that the Prince of Egypt presentation might be better for the folks I was speaking to. I was sure of it earlier in the week, but as my prayers continued, I kept feeling led to go in a different direction. Well a ministry that doesn’t follow the leading of the Spirit is headed for trouble so I decided to do Story instead. I am so glad I did. God really used it, several hearts were really touched. It ended up being far better than I could have conceived on my own. To God be the glory.

When in doubt, always listen to God. As a matter of fact forget the doubt part, just always listen to God.

I love how Max7 did this parable completely without words. Things like this can really cross language barriers. This is probably my favorite of the parables.

How could you communicate God’s truth without words?

This convertible series will work in a variety of settings.

It can be anything from a single message to an evening program to a weekend retreat or revival, Spiritual renewal series.
The point of this series is to look at the lessons in the stories Jesus told and how to use them to live a better story.

Messages include:

  • What Kind of Soil Are You? The Parable of the Sower
  • The Older Brother: The Prodigal Son
  • Who’s Your Samaritan? The Good Samaritan
  • Hurried, Buried and Worried: The Parable of the Talents
  • What’s Your Story? The Sheep and the Goats, The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Evening Programs Include:

  • The Gifted: Parable of the soils, The Good Samaritan and The Parable of the Talents
  • Relationships: Parable of the Soils, The Prodigal Son and The Sheep and Goats

I can also work to your themes and use other parables. I want to help your congregation to live a better story. For more information, contact me, Dave Weiss, at
story poster

story posterI know I have been a little lax in posting these last few days. I have a pretty good excuse, I’ve been running A.M.O.K. at my first home church. I’ve been preaching a series of messages based on the parables of Jesus called Story: Parables of Jesus. It’s been going really well and I’m also compiling them into a presentation by the same name. It’s been a lot of fun. Tonight’s message is based on what is probably my favorite of all the parables, the parable of the talents.

You know it, right (if not it’s found in Matthew 25:14-30) A master gives portions of money to his servants to invest while he goes off on journey. It says he gave these talents to them, “each according to his ability.” In other words he knows what they are capable of doing and gives them an amount he knows they can handle, kind of like God does with us and our talents. He doesn’t compare us with others, he knows what we’re capable of (how He made us) and entrusts accordingly.

The first two guys, take their sums and invest them, doubling the investment while the third (the one who received the least) buries his in the dirt. When the master returns he settles accounts he’s very pleased with the first two, tells them well done and essentially invites them to a party. He then turns to the servant who buried his talent (we’ll call him Skippy) and to me this is where it gets interesting. The first thing this servant does is blame the master for his own disobedience. He then goes on to impune the master’s character.

You know what I see in this third servant, Skippy? I see fear, essentially fear of failure. The other two guys go to work at once, investing the master’s money. They take a risk. There was the possibility they could have lost. Skippy decided not to take the risk but instead to play it safe, after all it wasn’t his money. What if he loses? What if the master gets angry? What if? What if? What if? Skippy gets so caught up in his fear that he makes the master a villain in his mind and buries his gift. Do you do that?

The difference between the first two servants and Skippy, I believe is trust. The first two guys trust that the master will be good if they fail and so they get to work at once. In the process they obey their master. Skippy’s fear turns into disobedience and wasted opportunities.

The point is this. Your talents represent God’s investment in you. He wants you to put them to work to build His Kingdom. If you do that, win or lose (in the eyes of the world) the Lord will be pleased. He’s only really displeased when we don’t place our trust in Him and bury our talents.

Don’t be Skippy!
To bring Story: Parables of Jesus to your church, contact Dave Weiss.