Mat 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away….Mat 25:20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' Mat 25:21 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' Mat 25:22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' Mat 25:23 His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
Of all the wonderful things to see in this parable, there is one lesson that I think is maybe more needful than the others. We see that between the two faithful servants the Lord sovereignly gives them different amounts of money to invest. Yes, the amount had to do with their individual ability but where does our ability come from? As Paul reminds us, 1Co 4:7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? And while this means that we have no reason to be jealous of the talents and circumstances of others because that is God’s business and we are to serve him faithfully whether with little or much, it is the look at the Day of Judgment in the above verses that gives us the truth that allows us to be content and not jealous.
The Lord doesn’t expect the servant given two talents to just go about his business even though he has decreed that his brother will be given opportunities to earn reward in eternity that he was never given. As they both stand before the Lord to answer for their lives, they both receive the exact same “well done” and privileges in eternity. The reward was not based on how much you are given but how well you served with it. This levels the playing field, if you will, for all of us.
The important lesson then is that there is no reason for me to be jealous of the Apostle Paul, or Charles Spurgeon, or some saint who has been given a lot more money than I have or a lot more talent or a bigger church, etc. What will determine how well I please the Lord is precisely that I don’t compare myself to another but that I serve him with joy according to his will while he gives me life. Thus the poorest, weakest, least knowledgeable, least talented, most homely, most sickly, you name it, saint can receive the “Well done, good and faithful servant” and then given even more opportunity to serve the Lord in eternity. What else can any of us ask for?
Sadly, I wonder how different that day will be for many of us because we hid our talent like the third servant by bitterness, complaining, discontent and feeling sorry for ourselves instead of asking God to bless the “five loaves and two small fishes” that he has graciously given us? It is a battle many times to keep this before me. But when I do, my attitude is better and I suspect others would rather be around me when I am full of the joy of the Lord instead of full of myself.