Funeral Sermon For An Ordinary Man
''Nothing in the world can replace persistence. Talent will not; Nothing is more common than the unsuccessful man with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination are omnipotent.''
Matthew 25:14 - 18 ''For (the Kingdom of Heaven) is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.''
As you know, the ''talents'' in this parable are measurements of money. One talent was equivalent to about 130 pounds - whether that is 130 pounds of silver or gold or some other precious metal. Jesus' use of the word ''talent'' in this parable is what led to the word being used in the sense of a ''gift'' or ''skill'' in the English language. I think it's helpful to think of it in that sense.
In the parable of the talents, I don't think our departed brother was most like the first servant who received the five talents because I don't think of him as having been mega-talented. Now I don't say that to disparage him in any way. I don't think there's anything particularly negative about not being a mega-talented person. Most of us aren't. No, I don't think of him as the five-talent servant because he wasn't mega-talented.
And I don't think he was much like the third servant who received the one talent because he was not wicked or lazy. If you're familiar with the story the one-talent servant took what the maste ...
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