In Matthew 25:14-30 we find the Parable of Talents. As a refresher, A master gathered three servants before he went on a extended trip. The three servants where given money otherwise known as a talent from their master and expected to wisely invest it. He expected them to take care of his finances while he was gone. Servant #1 was given six talents, servant #2 was given four talents, and servant #3 was given two talents. As a side note, one talent was worth almost two million US dollars. Each was given a large amount of money.
After the prolonged amount of time, the master returned and gathered his servants. Servant #1 and #2 used their talents effectively and doubled their money. When the master came back, he was pleased and gave them more to look after. Servant #3 buried the talent out of fear of messing up. The master was furious! He called the servant “wicked” and cast the servant out immediately. He took the buried money and gave it to Servant #1 and #2 because they had been found faithful in a little.
The direction this lesson goes is not with the biblical use of talent but with the modern societies’ definition of talent. This parable is the origin of the sense of the word “talent” meaning “gift or skill” used in modern language. Lets give this story some life. Hand out these items to members of the group:
A piece of technology(phone, laptop, etc.)
Example: I gave Mark the football because he is an incredible athlete and uses this ability, or talent, to bring glory to God.
Customize the items to fit the personalities of your group. You will use the items to convey the point that each of them have varying talents and God expects them to use it.
The good Lord has given us talents and he wants us to use our ministry effectively. We get an idea of what God expects us to do here on earth from this story. We also see a standard that is in place for the Christian. We aren’t judged on the number of people we save or how many people we invite to church. While all that is great, the standard seems to be how we use our God given talents. Just as the money that was given to the servants wasn’t their own, so too, our gifts are not our own. God has invested in you differing abilities and like all good investments, he expects a return. This story is incredibly practical because the parallels make sense. God is our master. We are the servants. It is on us to decide if we are going to be like servant #1 & #2 or like servant #3. Everyone here has specific talents and gifts. Some have been given more and others have been given less. What matters isn’t what we’re given, for anything from God is more than we deserve – its what we do with it that matters. I can bury them in the mountains of homework or excuses I have, or I can push out of my shell and look for opportunities to increase them all.
The Bible is clear about using our gifts in order to advance our ministry and God’s kingdom:
We see in 1 Corinthians 7:7b is Paul speaking and he says,” every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.”
1 Corinthians 12:4 says,”There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
1 Peter 1:20 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in all its various forms.”
I hope this lesson allows you to convey spiritual truth to your group.