In context, Jesus was talking about his return and the giving out of rewards and punishments on that last day. He went on to say that, The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man traveling into a far country. He called His servants and gave to each of them according to their ability and left them. To each of the three servants He gave five, two and one talent.
Upon our Masters return He found that the servant who was given five doubled it, as did the servant who was given two. However the servant who was given one, hid and buried it. This servant went on to say, I knew that He was a hard man, reaping where He had not sown, and gathering where He had not strawed.
The Master was angry and said, Thou wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury. This servant’s talent was taken and given to the profitable servant. Then he was cast out into outer darkness for punishment.
This scripture is very telling prophetically. Jesus freely admits to reaping where He has not sown and gathering where He has not strawed. This is a description of a thief. Thus Jesus once again acknowledges his role as the Thief on that last day. Taking what does not belong to Him, the children of satan, the tares. In that day, the unjust shall be removed from the just. God's reaping angels sent out gathering up and burning the tares.
The question is: Which one of the servants was the most talented?
If you guessed the one who was given five and then made ten; you would not be alone, for this is the common perception. However, Jesus said that He gave to each of them according to their ability. In other words, the one with the least skill and ability needed the most help. Conversely the one who was a genius, did not need as much starting capital to perform the same task. Therefore the servant with the most ability and promise, was the last servant. For he was only given one talent, yet expected to produce the same return. This is not a cruel joke by the Almighty; but rather a test to measure his faith and heart, because God built him with the ability, and knew his potential. Sustained by the scripture itself, that testifies all of them had ability.
A modern parallel would be; Imagine if you were given one million dollars by an investor. It would not take much to turn that into two million. It would be extremely easily to hire the best financial consultants, best creative inventors, best marketing team, best technology available and a fully loaded inventory. This scenario would take very little talent from this servant to achieve success, because it could all be outsourced. Now put that in comparison if you were only given one thousand dollars and expected to double it. This would take an extreme genius level talent to pull off. You could not hire all the above, much less pay for your cost of living, therefore forget about any business luxuries.
Unfortunately in this particular case, our one talent holding servant also had a few fatal flaws; he was lazy and not willing to take higher risks with the little capital at hand. Nevertheless, this was not in any way a reflection of his great potential or ability. Moreover, Jesus was not angry about the amount he generated, but rather that it made a zero return. Jesus said you could have at least invested it on the exchange, or put it in a sickly 'half of a percent' interest accruing account.
History is packed full of such patterns. Those who are really successful, were frequently those who are born by immigrants, into poverty and rose up through their dirt houses and become millionaires. Necessity through inspiration and much perspiration is the mother of invention. History also shows repeatedly that those born into the lap of luxury are generally pampered and unmotivated with a false sense of entitlement. There is an old adage that still rings true, ’One generation makes the money, and the next generation spends it.’
In the natural mindset, most of us would take our money and put towards the best looking investment or the hottest stock exchanger's pick. We all know what can happen when we put our money on those 'sure' bets. However, it is not normally the rich monolithic entities that are the most profitable investment. It is often the exact opposite. It is many times those who started their business in a garage or dorm room; with nothing but a great idea with motivation that yielded the best investment. So it is with you, who may not have the resources and must call upon God and His freely gifted abilities and ideas mixed with motivation and perspiration. You may have only one talent in your hand as well; but keep in mind, God is not calling you to be slothful or passive with it.
Success should not be measured in dollars. A financially successful person may have money, but spiritually bankrupt. Later in the chapter, Jesus clarifies what is the most important to Him. Did you feed, water, clothe, shelter and visit the sick or imprisoned. As you have done to the least of these, you have done it to me.
The judging of your talents will be based upon your eternal fruit produced; that which cannot be stolen, moth eaten or rusted.
Dear angels of our Father, this revelation should bring peace, hope and inspiration to your souls. If you are not one of those born into wealth or lost it; the following should serve as a Godly motivation to you. Count it all a blessing if you were chosen by Father as a one talent holder. You are one of those who has been given greater unseen abilities. Abilities that you may not even know you possess. However know that; for unto every one that has shall be given, he shall have abundance: but from him that has not, shall be taken away even that which he has. Meaning, that he which has no motivation for the things that the Father values, he will have his reward removed and sent into outer darkness.
You are strategically placed by God in a position of leverage over those who have been given much visibly. If you are the one talent holding servant, you have the most ability. Lean not unto your own understanding, but listen to the Holy Spirit and His leading. God may lead you into the arts for ministering to others. Or your scientific mind has the ability to bring forth an advancement to better society for all. You may be one that is blessed with money, therefore be a silent philanthropist to the least of His children. He may lead you to not spend any money; but called to do the hardest work, be a listening ear, a source of support spiritually to the sick, homebound or imprisoned. Be not moved by what you see, for if the fruit is invisible, it cannot be stolen.
You are a creative god made in the image of a creative God, to help the least of those.
Go forward and be fruitful all you His saints.