When Jesus told the parable of the talents he expressed something most people overlook. While the main teaching of the parable likely pertains to stewardship, accountability, or our need to be prepared for the judgment, we have probably never thought about one subtle truth that I believe he also implied.

There were three servants. The first was given 5 talents, the second was given 2 talents, and the third was given 1 talent. They were entrusted with these talents and their master expected them to do something with them. We have all been given something by God, some blessing, some responsibility for which we must give account. I think most of us see ourselves as the one talent servant, and to us, that probably means we don’t see ourselves as very important, or very talented, or very valuable.

But do you know how much a talent was worth in the days of Christ? In my Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers has added a standard translation of weights and measures. According to their estimation, one talent of gold in today’s society would be worth just under 6,000,000 dollars, while a talent of silver would be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 dollars. Either way you look at it, that’s a great deal of money, even if we are just one talent servants.

The point is simply that we are much richer than we think. How thought provoking, that when Jesus chose to express in a parable what God has entrusted to humanity, he used the most valuable symbol of monetary measurement that existed in his time! We need not think that he is even talking about the clothes on our back, or the food on our table, or the warm homes in which we live. These are not the true riches. We need to realize that God’s greatest gift bestowed upon the world was actually Jesus himself, and for each of us, that means something specific. It means we need to use what the master has given us individually to bring glory and honor to His name.

Today I have decided I am not going to look at myself and think I am nothing. After all, Jesus decided that I was worth dying for! If I am just the one talent man, Jesus says I have nearly six million bucks with which to serve him. I am not going to bury what God has given me. I am going to look for opportunities to appreciate what I have been blessed with, invest it by my faith in God into the hearts of others, and allow him and him alone to make it grow.

I know that God is not concerned about how much return he receives on what he has given me. I know that he just wants me to see that I am blessed. He just wants me to be thankful. He just wants me to glorify him with it. He just wants me to try.

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” — Matthew 25:29

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