Abused Text

“The parable of the talents is among the most abused texts in the New Testament.”

That’s what  Dr. Carla Works, Assistant Professor in New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. thinks.

I think Professor Works is right. Too often this parable is used to convince folks that God wants folks to have lots of money.  If they don’t have lots of money, then . . . they must be doing something wrong, or wicked, or lazy, or even worthless.

Abused text.

Parables get folks to think and wrestle and think again.  And this parable, where money seems to have top billing, isn’t about money.  It isn’t about investing money wisely.  It isn’t about doing what God want you to do and then being rewarded with wealth.  The parable is centered around a master and three slaves.  But the parable isn’t about slaves and masters. 

So what is it about?

I think it’s a challenge to notice and respond to opportunities to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities and in our world. I think it’s a challenge to bring all that we are – skills, talents, weaknesses, successes, and failures and to attend to one another – continuing to show love for God and for one another. 

Maybe I’m reading a little more into it.  What do you think this parable is about?

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