In his book The Parables of the Kingdom, C.H. Dodd refers to today’s parable as the parable of Money in Trust. I found this a helpful starting place. What the parable describes was a very normal way for the wealthy to do business in the ancient world. When property was entrusted there was an understanding that a one hundred percent return was the minimum expected. The wealthy landowner or merchant would trust that decisions would be made that were in keeping with his own business sense and practice. A return was expected.
Commentators suggest that what afflicts the servant who was given one Talent was a lack of imagination. He had already decided what sort of a man his master was. The servant operates out of fear and a slightly prejudiced understanding of his master. He allows fear to guide him rather than trust. The trust his master has put in him is not repaid. Digging money down into the ground was the usual way to protect money from theft. But in digging down the money he also dug down an opportunity for grace.
This parable speaks to me about my own tendency to narrow down possibilities rather than open them up. The parable is an invitation once again to step into the world of grace and possibilities and to leave behind fear and lack of trust.
Are there situations in your own life where God is calling you to imagine a world of grace?