But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Matthew 25:18
One of the greatest tragedies is watching untapped possibility or potential buried in the grave. I think about the funeral services that I have eulogized over the past couple of years, watching young people who never recognized their possibility or never experience that threescore and ten years the psalmist mentions in the 90th division of Psalm. What happens when something never reaches its full potential? How do you cope when what God has impregnated you doesn’t fully mature?
In our text today a man is going away and entrust his servants with talents, talents in this instance, refers to a unit of measurement, often used to weigh out silver or gold. It is different than the modern concept of a “talent” as a gift or natural ability. Here, the man is entrusting his servants with a measure of his wealth. The first servant receives five talents, the second servant receives two, and the third servant receives one talent; they receive these talents in proportion to each of their abilities. Servant one and two both take their talents and multiply them, but the third servant buries the talent that was given, ultimately burying the possibility. Why doesn’t this servant attempt to multiply this talent? Why does this servant feel so easily persuaded to ignore the potential of worth this talent may have? Here is the response of the third servant in verses 24-25, “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So, I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. Ultimately this servant operates in the same mindset as some of us, fear! Some of us are so afraid to try or take a risk that we conclude its better to just hide it so that when the owner returns at least we can give back what we were entrusted.
The gift of being given the talent is that the master trust you with it, if God has entrusted you with the talent, then your ability to multiply is already determined. Thank God for seeing our possibility before we were even given the talent. Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you according to Jeremiah, God knows how much you can produce, so work what has been entrusted to you. Don’t become discouraged by others ability to multiply more than you because you are only in competition with possibility. There is no room for buried possibility, work so that when the owner comes to settle accounts you can hear well done servant and not you wicked lazy servant. All of us will one day have to stand before the righteous judge to give an account of our work and we must be sure that we’re not guilty of wasting possibility.