“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip.
He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another,
and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities.
He then left on his trip” (Matthew 25:14-15).
Our attention in the parable is usually drawn to the highly talented man who did well and soared to the top, or the single talent man who ended up wasting what opportunities he was given. Somehow we skip right over the guy in the middle — the two-talent man. That is strange because I believe most of us can relate to him.
I realize that statement runs contrary to the ideology of our humanistic society that pushes everybody to be #1 and looks askew at anyone who fails to achieve that lofty goal. But the plain truth is that a lot of people fill the ranks represented by the two-talent man.
We see this in the Bible. What do Aaron, Jonathan, John the Baptist, Andrew, Barnabas, and Silas have in common? They were all second-place men. While their prominence and talents were not as great as the gifted leaders they were associated with, their success was relatively equal because they faithfully fulfilled their role.
There are dangers unique to the two-talent calling that must be avoided. The first is resentment at the thought of being passed over for first place. Another danger is self-pity which imagines some injustice has been done. And then there is the danger of resignation. The parable warns of the consequences of giving up and burying your talent.
So what is the answer? The answer is to realize that while there may be an inequality of talents and opportunities in life, we are all gifted with something. We all have a special role to play; a unique task to perform. Just remember that it is faithfulness that counts in the long run! As one writer observed, “It is not brilliancy, not genius, not popular acclaim, but utter and absolute devotion to duty, faithfulness without applause, and without recognition that counts.”
Whether you are called to be king, or a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, embrace with joy that which God has entrusted to your care. Give it your best and you will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Pastor Todd Weston