Quiz time, folks!!! Who invented the dynamite?
Do I hear the answer …Alfred Nobel!
Yes, it is him alright. In fact in 1867, Nobel received U.S. patent number 78317 for his dynamic invention. That this explosive instead of being used peacefully for blasting the rocks during mining operations (as was originally nobly intended by Nobel) ending up as a destructive weapon used for destroying properties, limb and life was not this brilliant scientist's fault at all. Yet this all-too-surreal story behind the origin of Nobel prize would have us believe so!!!
BOOM…in 1888, Alfred had a dubious distinction of reading his own unflattering obituary!!! When Alfred's brother, Ludvig, died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred which called him the "merchant of death", and it went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." This horrified Alfred. Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible epitaph, Nobel created a will that soon shocked his relatives and led to establishment of the now famous Nobel Norwegian Committee which awards Nobel Prize: "to all during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."
Nobel's last will left approximately 94 percent of his worth to the establishment of five prizes in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. The fact that the Nobel prize has been awarded for several outstanding achievements, which have made this strife-torn, ailments-infested World "a better place to live in", and also the fact that it continues to inspire several to put their best foot forward in various worthy pursuits, stands as a shining testimony to a man who aspired to "live nobly even after his death" by recognizing and rewarding the noble deeds of his fellowmen.
So coming to the spiritual realm, is there a Biblical account of the good Lord also recognizing and rewarding the faithful servants of His?
Welcome to the parable of talents.
Welcome once again to that parable latent with lessons waiting to
19:11-26). Though the central message of the said parable is similar
in both Matthew and Luke Gospels (where we find the same recorded), one
would observe some subtle differences in its relation in both the Gospel
accounts. It needs to be noted here that the Parable of talents recorded
in Matthew's Gospel was narrated in Jerusalem, while the one in Luke's
Gospel was related by the Saviour on the way to Jerusalem. Since we
started off with the Nobel story, yours truly, in this 4-part series, is
inspired to use the first two letters "NO" of that famed chemist's name
in each of the lessons he has derived from this "Explosive" parable.
Didn't somebody say, you have to blast before building? So here goes…
Firstly, this parable blasts the myth that there are some Christians
with no talents. Scripture is explicit about the fact that NONE was left
without a talent. Let's also at this time blast yet another myth that
"talents" comprise only those of preaching, singing and the nine gifts
of the Holy Spirit (I
Cor 12:7-11-ESV), which are guaranteed to bring one under public
spotlight. In case you are the ONE who participates actively in either
one or all of the three "silent, behind the scenes" ministries given
a) The intercession prayer ministry (even the Apostle Paul pleaded for intercessory prayers -Romans 15:30);
b) That of encouragement (I Thess 5:11/2 Tim 1:16-18/Heb 13:3); and
c) Hospitality (Heb 13:2)
take heart, you are lining up for yourself some very precious heavenly rewards. These ministries may not bring any public approbation, but be encouraged to continue "investing these talents" for His glory faithfully, for the Master shall return soon with the rewards (Rev 22:12).
Prayer: Father, wherever I you have placed us in the spotlight or behind the scenes, enable us to serve Thee faithfully. In Jesus' name. Amen.
(To access the entire "Of Patent, Latent and Talent" mini-series, please click here.)