The Parable of the Talents Explained

Below is some graffiti I recently saw on a bike ride around White Rock. I loved it so much, I stopped and took this picture. It’s at the top of the White Rock Lake dam, looking East, back out over the waters.

I know that some will likely be offended by it’s crudeness…or perhaps shocked that I, as a preacher, would post such things.

If you are shocked, I blame Tony Campolo, and invite you to consider his wisdom.

Here’s the bottom line…
 If you want to understand the truth of “The Parable of the Talents,” it’s all right here…

And if you’d rather hear a full-length sermon, making much the same point in different language, have at it.

(As always, if you like this post, then “like it” or “share it” on Facebook by clicking the box below, or send it to your friends…so others can see too…and leave a comment…EF)


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of The Woods United Methodist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. For seventeen years, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas, Texas. Eric is an avid blogger and published author. Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy.

7 thoughts on “The Parable of the Talents Explained

  1. Why the Parable of the Talents is really and Occupy Wall Street tale: the hero fo the parable is the one who buried the money in the ground. That person is the only one who did not use their sweat or ingenuity to make the robber-baron king more money. It was an act of resistance against an oppressive system. Live the shit out of your life, yes. don't live the shit out of your life to make them richer.

  2. I've read that interpretation several times lately. But, honestly, it doesn't fit with the whole ethos of not only *this* parable, but some of the other ones around it in Matthew. And, it makes that parable about money, which is, ironically, exactly what the false "prosperity gospel" folks do.It also doesn't explain what I take to be the key point…when the one servant says "I was afraid."If the servant was striking a blow against an oppressive system, he might have had fear in his heart…but it would have said, "I was striking blow for justice," not "I was afraid."This parable, it seems to me, is meant to be a metaphor, just like the one before it (the bridesmaids) is also meant to be.In fact, if we say this is primarily parable about the economic system (buying/selling, just/unjust systems) then we have to claim that the previous parable is about oil lamps or wedding receptions.Truthfully, I *do* think that this parable has something to say about "Occupy Wall Street." What it says is that God is the source of all that is, our possessions, the world, everything. God gives to all of us "talents" to use, not to hoard…but to use to the best of our abilities. The point is overcoming our fear of using our talents and our gifts…and trusting that we will have enough.You see, actually, I think Wall Street types ARE hoarders…hoarding what they have been intrusted with, rather than sharing it with others and trusting that they will always have enough.

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