It is interesting to me how upset the master got with the steward who took no risks. The other two stewards did take risks and reaped the rewards. I often wonder why the parable didn’t contain a steward who attempted to multiply it but ended up losing some of the investment. But either way, I think we are led to believe that the primary frustration of the master was that the steward was lazy and didn’t even try.
He was called a “wicked and lazy slave.” My take on this is that he was more frustrated with his laziness than his lack of production. The steward didn’t even put the talents in the bank to gain interest. The passage states that the master gave to each of them according to their ability. So, I think we can assume that the steward with one talent did have some ability, or else he wouldn’t have given him any.
If he did indeed have some ability to manage money, even with the smallest amount of ability, he would have known that earning small interest at the bank is better than burying it!
I liken this to having a Vet watch your dog for the weekend and not feed it. Most everyone knows that you should feed a dog at least daily, but especially a vet. It is their profession – the thing they are skilled at doing and are entrusted to do.
So, the extreme amount of laziness this steward must have had to not at least put the talent in the bank, coupled with the fact that he let fear paralyze him from doing what he was expected to do infuriated the master.
While today we are looking at how this applies to our financial lives, the truth is this parable can be applied to anything that we are entrusted to steward: our time, gifts, children, or possessions. As you meditate on this passage, what is God speaking to your heart today?