(Part 1 here: Parable of the Talents, Part 1)
Continuing on, I want to talk about risking resources. In order to gain, sometimes you must lose, at least temporarily. When God gives us resources (including abilities), He gives them to us so we will use them. We are to invest them. Invest in what God tells you to do. Invest in people. Invest when and where you are at, with what you have. Which brings me to another connecting point: God rewards faithfulness. You don’t have to have a lot. As long as you are faithful with what you have, you will gain more than you think, and the faithfulness with what you have will be rewarded.
Now slightly back to the part about being given according to your ability. At the end when the single talent was given to the servant with ten talents, we don’t see any of the servants complaining (Matthew 14:28-29). The master knew what he was doing. God gives to each of us as is right. Don’t think that you’re inferior or that God isn’t fair when He blesses someone else with more.
So speaking of fairness, let’s talk about the unfaithful servant with the single talent and what happened with him. He didn’t even try to do anything with the resource he was given. He didn’t use it. He didn’t even think about using it. He just went and buried it. But when he went to report to the master he accused the master of being unfair, using that as an excuse for what he hadn’t done (v. 24-25). Considering this is a parable and considering what we already know of this master’s generosity, this servant is wrong. The master responds to the servant about what he should have at least done (maybe especially if he really thought that about his master), and proceeds to take away his responsibility and cast him out (v. 26-27, 30).
So here’s the part I’ve been waiting for, since we don’t typically hear much about it: The servant was cast out. It brings up the question: Was this servant saved? Did he believe in God or not? So let’s think about that.
We’re told in another place in the Bible that we can’t lose our salvation, but we will be judged and rewarded or not based on what we’ve done with what God has given us (1 Corinthians 3:9-15). This servant could be a child of God who didn’t use God’s resources well. Sometimes we don’t think enough about what we will regret leaving undone when we reach Heaven.
We also see in our passage that this servant was cast into “outer darkness,” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 14:30) We hear about weeping and gnashing of teeth in various other places in the Bible, and it often has to do with reference to Hell and being cast away from God’s presence. Does that mean so here? If so, then perhaps this servant didn’t really know his master, especially if he thought so poorly of him. This servant could be someone who wasn’t really saved.
Now while the question of the servant’s alignment is still unanswered, it is something to think about. This whole parable has a lot about which to think.