“I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.” Mt 25:25 NIV

One of the most familiar parables Jesus told illustrates how things work in God’s kingdom: “Then the man who had received one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘…I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground’…His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!…You should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him …throw that worthless servant outside’” (vv. 24-30 NIV). Can you imagine going to work next Friday and watching your boss hand your paycheck to someone else while you stand there? That’s exactly what’s going on in this story. It’s a picture of what will happen at the judgment seat of Christ—and you’ll be there to see it. Why did the Lord come down so hard on this guy? Because he buried his talent. And why did he bury it? Because he “was afraid.” Afraid of what? (a) Afraid the talent God had given him wasn’t equal to the task. (b) Afraid to take a risk in case he failed. (c) Afraid he didn’t have the talents others had, therefore his didn’t count. Just like there are degrees of punishment in hell (See Mt 11:21-24), there will be degrees of reward in heaven. And how you use your talent now determines what your reward will be then.