Sunday School Times
And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem…
There are three ways in which we may treat God's gifts; we may misuse them, neglect them, or use them to good purpose. A tool-chest is a very handy thing. The boy who has one can do good work with it, if he wishes. But if he uses the chisel to chip the noses of statuettes, or the hammer to drive nails into choice pictures, or the hatchet to cut and hack the young trees in the orchard, that tool-chest becomes anything but a valuable acquisition to the family. A sharp knife is a good thing, but in the hand of a madman it may do untold damage. So education and natural talent are good things when rightly used; but there is no rogue so dangerous as the educated or talented rogue. Neglect, too, destroys. The sharpest tool will by and by rust, if left unused. The bread for our nourishment, if unused, will soon change into a corrupt mass. The untended garden will be quickly overrun with weeds. The sword that is never drawn at last holds fast to the scabbard. And so the learning and the talents that lie idle soon begin to deteriorate. An Eastern story tells of a merchant who gave to each of two friends a sack of grain to keep till he should call for it. Years passed; and at last he claimed his own again. One led him to a field of waving corn, and said, "This is all yours." The other took him to a granary, and pointed out to him as his a rotten sack full of wasted grain. On the other hand, the .proper use of talents brings its own reward. Cast forth the seed, and the harvest is sure. The sculptor's chisel carves out the statue. Beneath the hand of man great palaces grow up. And beyond and above all, there is the consciousness that every good use of a talent, every noble act done, is adding a stone to the stately temple that shall be revealed hereafter.
(Sunday School Times.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.