Stewardship: “The kingdom of heaven is like…”; Part Three

For the past few weeks we’ve been exploring Matthew 25 and the “Parable of the Talents.” A second version of this parable is found in Luke 19:11-27. One significant difference between these two accounts is found in Luke 19:13 where the landowner called ten of his servants together and gave each their resources to steward. The story continues by sharing what occurred with three of the men so we have to speculate about what took place with the other seven. In other words, there are likely more stories of good and bad stewardship that remain untold.

Regardless of which version you read, there are a few points worth further consideration:

  • There are no reasons given in Luke for why the men received the amounts they did while in Matthew they received their resources “according to his ability.” Since this isn’t defined further, we are left to speculate why the landowner determined they were worthy of what they received. Each seemed to affirm the intuition of the landowner by how he grew or buried the funds he was given. The fruit that each bore was directly related to a proper understanding of stewardship. In a similar way, should our commitment to stewardship be measured by the fruit of our efforts?
  • There is nothing written about the men comparing the talents they received. This is worth considering since stewardship is about managing what we have and not looking at what we don’t have. Too often it seems that we spend our time considering what we would do with additional resources instead of focusing upon what God has given us.

I am currently at the biennial conference of the Association for Theological Schools (ATS) and will wrap this series up next week by tying these posts together and incorporating a few items we’ve been discussing at the ATS sessions.

– Dr. Brent Sleasman, President, Winebrenner Theological Seminary