I think about this parable from time to time, and came across it in my reading this morning:
Matthew 25:1 To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
Scripture goes on to talk about what each of the servants actually do with their gifts, but three things caught my mind today. First, these gifts were given specifically, according to who each person was and what they could actually do with the gift. The second thought comes at the end:
Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.
So, the guy with the smallest to work with and the least to lose, so to speak, was afraid, and this prevented him from doing anything of value. And the third point here that linked with the other two is mentioned twice, in v21 and again in v23:
Matthew 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. ’
The thing that stood out here was that the gift was deemed to be smallish, as in “a few things”. Didn’t matter how many talents were in the gift. So in the master’s eyes, he gave them each something small, knowing what could be done. Small, as in, not a lot to lose, not a lot to be afraid of, not a lot to risk. And yet, fear could still sneak in and rob the value.
Something for me to continue pondering in my own life.