Jesus uses parables in today’s Bible reading to illustrate stewardship. Normally we think of stewardship as pertaining to money. Stewardship includes the wise use of money, but it isn’t limited to money. God’s people are called to be good stewards with everything we’ve been entrusted.
The foolish virgins weren’t good stewards of their oil; they didn’t have enough to make it through the night. And had the wise virgins shared their oil with the foolish virgins, no one would have had light to last through the night.
The servants in Jesus’ parable were entrusted with the master’s talents. We tend to think of talents as, well, “talents”. But the talents Jesus referred to in His parable was a measure of money. Last year when I preached through Jesus’ parables, I presented the following information so our people could grasp the tremendous amount of wealth that the master had entrusted to his servants.
- 1 danarius = 1 day’s wage
- 1 mina = 3 months’ wages
- 1 talent = 60 minas = 180 months’ wage = 15 years’ wages
- 1 talent = 15 years’ wages
- 2 talents = 30 years’ wages
- 5 talents = 75 years’ wages
Two of the servants were good stewards and made a good return on their master’s investments. However, one of the stewards was foolish in the way that he simply buried his master’s talent in the ground. Though not doubling the original amount like the wise servants, the foolish servant could have taken his master’s talent to the bank and the fifteen years’ wages would have generated interest.
I used to think that it was cruel for the master to take the talent from the foolish servant and give it to the servant who had the ten talents. That is, until I read the parable a little more closely.
Matthew 25:14, 18, 27 highlights the key to understanding why the master was not cruel to take the foolish servant’s talent: It was the master’s talent! At no point in the parable are the talents
If you are like most people, God has entrusted you with a lot: your body, food, housing, vehicle(s), and employment. He has also given you friends, coworkers, family members and extended family members. Granted, He probably hasn’t entrusted multiple years’ wages to you in one lump sum. But still, He has entrusted you with a lot.
So what are you doing with what He has entrusted to you?
Each of us has twenty-four hours each day. Each of us has seven days each week, twelve months each year, etc. How are you investing His time?
How are you stewarding your body, food, housing, vehicles, employment, friends, coworkers, family members, extended family members?
Remember, all of these belong to Him. How can you better steward what belongs to Him?
Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (CSB)