The parable of the talents in a way takes up the thread from the parable of the prodigal son where the Father says to the son: “All mine is yours.” The parable of the prodigal son illustrates how the returned son is awakened to faith and takes possession of his possessions and leaves any religious baggage at the threshold, whereas the second son remains on the outside, and even receives a reprimand from his father concerning his unbelief. The invitation is extended to both sons to enter all the Father is, but only one of them accepted the gift.
God is not an austere master. Whenever He invites us to come up higher the faith to do so is provided, but we are responsible to receive and take advantage of God’s own faith which He confers lavishly upon us. This is also true about every faith commission into which He takes us. The faith to accomplish the task is provided, and we learn to invest this faith so that what in the beginning seemed like little and wavering faith is added upon so that it becomes perfect faith; five talents become ten talents.
There is also boldness involved in using the talents that graciously are endowed upon us. The one who buried his talent stepped back in fear and his talent was taken away from him. What we learn is that God, the creator of the universe, rewards boldness. We do not, however, find this boldness as something inherent human, but we partake from the Son’s boldness. We are seated with Him in heavenly places, and since we now are accepted into the triune fellowship the boldness of Jesus is ours.
What we easily overlook when we read these parables is that we are all those persons in the parables. It is by the Lord’s doing that we are transformed into being the daring one with five talents – by Christ in us. All these transformations transpire in our consciousnesses as we are taken from glory to glory in faith, increasingly recognizing Christ as our life. These things are, however, not automatic. We are definitely involved in these transformations by our leaps of faith.
In the parable of the talents we learn that there are many who are against the king, and at the end of the parable the following decree is issued: “Slay all those who are against me.” Who are those who are against the reign of the Lord if it is not all those faulty beliefs that we somehow are something more than empty vessels?
Our point of departure is usually that we think that we somehow have faith apart from the One who is one person with us. In any faith adventure one of God’s objectives is to strip us of any ideas that we have faith apart from Him – that we can do it apart from Him. Frustrations, circumstances etc will slay us until what is left is the Lord as us. This sure is a refining process that presses us into He who is our life – not as a separate person inside of us, but as one person with us.
Faith is both natural and unnatural depending on our angle of perception. It is definitely unnatural to walk on water, and investing our talents is indeed walking on water. But, in God that veil that separates the natural and the unnatural is rent in two. Faith asks us to step into the unknown, that is, stepping behind the veil, because it is now possible to do so. Faith is our response to revelation, and it is faith because the object of our faith is a Person who is faithful and who cannot lie. Faith is further aligning ourselves with the “it is done” consciousness of the Father.
Boldness is commitment since faith also requires that we speak our words of faith in accordance with the pattern that is shown us by revelation. We believe, hence we speak. Our faith commitment is easily discerned by what we speak.