Guest Contributor: Kade Krosschell, Intern at Pizza Ranch Support Center
As you grow in your faith and the years continue to pass, the amount of times that you have heard some of the most famous Bible stories and verses continues to multiply. Among that list may be, the creation story, the parable of the Good Samaritan, Cain and Abel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Jesus walking on water… the list goes on.
Among some of the most famous stories lies the Parable of the Talents. Many of you already understand the meaning and the premise of this story, but I have always enjoyed sermons, messages, or conversations that explain or elaborated on it in a way that completely opens it up in a new way to me.
In Matthew 25:14-18 the stage is set. Jesus has the attention of those who are there. In short, a “man” who was getting ready to go on a journey, gives to one man five talents, to another two, and the other one. In order that they may care for them according to their own ability.
Now, if we were to put this story into context of today, what would be the equivalent to one talent?
Well, one talent in those days was equal to about 10,000 Denari. One Denari, was the equivalent of a “fair” or “average” days wages.
With this information, let’s input these numbers into modern day wages.The average American makes around $211.36 a day (8 Hour Day, $52,839 Annually).In today’s currency, a Talent would be worth around $2,113,600.
This is the equivalent of Adrie Groeneweg (Founder of Pizza Ranch) deciding that he wanted to go to Okoboji for a week. But he didn’t just want his money sitting around and he wanted to generate a passive income. So, he decided to give the Vice President of Business $10,568,000, the Director of Purchasing $4,227,200, and me (the intern) $2,113,600 while he was gone in an effort that they may make him more money while he goes on his trip.
As you can probably now imagine, this was the gravity of what it means for these servants to be gifted these specific amounts. It was a huge blessing and a very large responsibility.
So, what happens next in the story? (Matthew 25:19-30) In short, the master comes back to find that the servant did not sit idly by with his money, but in turn came back and gave him five more talents ($10,568,000 - $21,136,000)! The second, also coming back with two more talents ($4,227,200 - $8,454,400). Can you imagine the masters reaction? In scripture this is what we are told, “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.” Incredible! But the story continues, then the third servant comes before his master and returns to the master the one talent he was given, without increasing the amount at all, failing to do what the master has called him to do.
With all of these numbers and these things being said, what is the base message that we should all take away from this passage? The base message is this, the gifts, talents, abilities, qualities, and opportunities that have been given to us by God were given to us for a specific purpose. The second servant did not become deeply saddened that he did not receive the same amount as the first, rather he went out and did what he could with what he had. That servant focused on what he/she could do, with what God has given him/her. Same should be said to us, do not be troubled that you are not as good of a communicator as someone else, or maybe you are not as good with numbers, leadership, speaking, writing…etc, the list goes on! The things that God has given to us are specific and special in accordance with the way in which He wants us all to affect the kingdom. He is not asking us to be like this or that person, He is asking us to take what we have been given, and do with it the best we can for the furtherment of His kingdom and His glory. Above all, do not waste the many gifts and talents that He gives us, for His word also tells us that if we are faithful with little, He will provide us with much in accordance with His will.
“Numbers” credit: Reverend John Klompien from Calvary CRC in Orange City, Iowa