Talents Shouldn’t Be Buried (But Imperial Greed Should Be!)

… did Jesus cast anyone out, or was he cast out himself?


In a world where money equals power and upward mobility is the ultimate sign of success, those who seek another way, a message of hope to the poor and downtrodden, would hardly expect Jesus to reinforce a brutal status quo. Yet a surface reading of The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) might seem to suggest that.

A master leaves and entrusts three servants to his fortune, giving 5 talents to one, 2 to the second, and 1 to the third. The first two servants trade and double the master’s money, but the last buries it in the ground. When the master demands a reckoning, the third servant tells his master that he was afraid because he knew his master was a harsh man, so he buried his coin in the ground. The master kicks the “worthless slave” into the “outer darkness” of weeping and gnashing teeth.

Was the master, who trusted so much to his servants, generous or brutal? Was the last servant’s judgment clouded by fear, or did he see the most clearly?

So often this parable is interpreted to mean, “Don’t waste your talents!” Indeed, a talent is a terrible thing to waste. But Adam and Lindsey look below the surface, for the truth often lies buried under layers of misunderstanding.

And, of course, any time someone is cast into “outer darkness,” we must ask ourselves, did Jesus cast anyone out, or was he cast out himself?

The Olive

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