In these uncertain economic times, we certainly indentify with one of the classic observations of American humorist, Will Rogers. The return of my money concerns me more than the return on my money!
Here, however, the Teacher seems vitally concerned with the return on His money. The one talent man faithfully returns all the money His master entrusted to Him. But the master is not pleased!
Why? Because of the lost interest!
Of course this parable is not really about money. The Teacher is talking about how it is in the kingdom of heaven. And the main idea is that we are all trustees of everything God has given us and we will one day be called to account.
Everything we have - our talents, our time, our opportunities to do good, our money, indeed our very lives – are on loan from God. And the Master expects us to turn this into some eternal profit!
The one talent man is condemned because he is a lousy trustee. He buries the talent, squanders the potential for making any increase for the Master.
Why did he do it? He says because he was afraid. The Master says he was wicked and lazy.
Who do you think is right? Could they both be right?
And how do we reconcile the fact we are saved by grace with the idea that as trustees we must give an account for lost interest on gifts entrusted to us?