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Biblical Nobel Prizes-Of Patent, Latent and Talent!!!



Hey, it was announced that an Indian American Economist namely Abhijit Banerjee (1st pic above…left) would be conferred the Nobel Prize in the traditional function of awarding the Nobel Prizes on Dec 10th, 2019 (every year that is the date) along with his two co-researchers Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach in alleviating global poverty"!!! Even as we Indians’ feel justifiably proud of the fact that an Indian has been chosen for this prestigious award, it is time to brace-up for some Quiz time folks regarding the “dubious” history of Nobel Prize!!! 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 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 (Economics was added in 1969). The fact that 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 (do I hear some of the readers saying, it is high time…sic), 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 EXPLODE (Matt 25:14-31 /Luke 19:11-26). Though the central message of the said parable is similar in both the Gospels, one would observe some subtle differences’ in the Gospel accounts. It needs to be noted here that the one 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 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…

1. “NO” EXCEPTION


Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, EACH according to his ability. -Matt 25:14-15 (NIV)

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 below
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).

2. “NO” DELAY


The man who had received five bags of gold WENT AT ONCE and put his money to work and gained five bags more- Matt 25:16 (NIV)

Not for the most faithful servant, any procrastination. Put simply, secret behind his success was his explosive start off the blocks. Taking the Master’s assignment seriously, he went about in right earnest straightaway.

Say Christian, is the indwelling Holy Spirit prompting you to send a mail of encouragent to someone, or is He asking asking you to pray for someone or for that matter, He may inspiring you to share your Gospel-based testimony with a friend or colleague of yours. DO NOT DELAY. Jump at it with the speed of a Bolt…

3.“NO” MORE DELAY


…the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them- Matt 25:19

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.- Rev 22:12

Let’s take the Word (another name for Christ John 1:1) at His Word. On the subject of signs preceding the Church Rapture didn’t He also say that at the time of His return, the World would resemble the one of Noah’s days’ ( Luke 17:26)? What was conspicuous during Noah’s time? VIOLENCE AND CORRUPTION, for you Ladies and gentlemen (Genesis 6:11 KJV)!!!

To borrow an Aussie slang even Blind Freddy knows that media reports are full of violent events (not a fortnight passes by without a bomb blast/terror attack in some part of the globe).

“KOLAVERI” (remember the old famous Tamil number of 2011 fame), VERY MUCH SEEN EVERYWHERE


Now please do not blame Nobel for this veri for kola. By the way kolaveri in Tamil means rage to kill.

And corruption scandals (Wikileaks or no Wikileaks)? They regularly keep exploding in the process rocking the Parliament proceedings in our country. BOOM BOOM….Satyam…Suresh Kalmadi CWG scam… Adarsh housing…2 G Spectrum… Obalapuram Mining…BOOM BOOM

“…You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. “ - Matt 16:3

Boom…all Christians are bound to disappear very soon at the sound of hmmm…hey a trumpet BLAST (I Cor 15:51-52/ 1 Thess 4:12-18) Post rapture, for Christians (I Peter 4:7) there would be a time -in Christian parlance known as Bema Judgment time-when their service rendered for the Master would be tested and each one would be given whatever is due to him (1 Cor 3:12-14). So let’s complete all pending works sincerely and keep serving Him passionately to hear only those words and nothing else “Well done, my faithful servant”.

Meanwhile on Earth after the Church Rapture, violence and corruption scenario would deteriorate from bad to worse during the Seven year tribulation “till His Kingdom comes and His will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Rev 20:4-6). So things would worsen before they come better.

4. “NO” SUCCESS, NO PROBLEM:



His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things- Matt 25:21

Wheelchair runners in marathons usually finish last but biggest cheers are reserved for them. Why? Is it an acclamation of their running skills? NO!!! The appreciation is for making a statement of their character of perseverance. Ditto the same in the Heavenly realm.

Parable of talents blasts another myth that God rewards only the successful. No! His rewards are for the perseverant lot who toil faithfully with the talents, they have got. Note the words of appreciation of the Master, at the time of rewarding, He doesn’t say “Well done, my successful servant” rather “Well done my FAITHFUL SERVANT”.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos? What is it they have in common? They were all OT, pre-exilic prophets. Did they succeed in their ministry of making the idolatrous Israelites of their generation repent? NO! But they went about their tasks faithfully, guaranteeing for themselves rewards from the One who duly rewards “all who FINISH the race faithfully, fighting the good fight, as it were” - 2 Tim 4:7.

5.“NO” BALANCE


“…the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of MANY THINGS. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ -Matt 25:19-21

“The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of TEN CITIES.’- Luke 19:16-17


Boom!!! At this stage, if I were to coin a phrase and say that our God is a “God of Imbalance”- would it not be revolting, seemingly at direct odds not only with the tone and tenor of the essay, so far but also with that of the Scriptures which have always portrayed Him as a balanced and an orderly God (1 Cor 14:33)? Oh there are umpteen instances of His balance borne out of infinite wisdom exhibited in several spheres like…

      a) the “reverse breathing mechanism”, He has established balancing plant life with animal life,

      b) being balanced in taking care of both the spiritual and bodily needs of His followers (Mark 6:30-44)

      c) suggesting a perfect balance in discharge of financial responsibilities towards God and the Government (Matt 22:15-22)


BUT GIVE HIM A LOUD HALLELUJAH, FOR HE DOES INDEED BECOME "IMBALANCED", ONLY AND ONLY WHEN OUR PERSONAL BENEFIT IS AT STAKE. Take for instance “our wages” for sinning

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10 NKJV)

At a time, when our sins require a severe punishment, He chastises us just enough to bring us back to the track, as any loving Father would (Heb 12:5-11).

Then what about the “rewards being not in proportion to known sources of efforts for Him” (thanks IT Department)? Now coming to our “rewards scene” in the parable of talents… pray tell me is there any co-relation (however remote) between minas and cities? For earning merely “10 minas”, we are who are FAITHFUL are being guaranteed a reward of oh boy, oh boy TEN CITIES!!! This scene is the very definition of tilted scales of justice of the positive kind.

Even on this side of eternity, the Lord provides wondrously for us and in the other side of eternity, boy, the blessings and rewards He has in store for us are simply mind-boggling. No wonder the Prophet Isaiah declares and Apostle Paul reaffirms bringing to light the true meaning of the OT Prophet’s declaration “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man. The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (Isaiah 64:4/ I Cor 2:9)!

Dear Child of God, even as you take inventory of your life, so far, is not your experience similar to mine? Is it not both comforting and reassuring to know that we been punished far less for our sins of commission or omission and that our meager efforts (relatively speaking) for His Kingdom, have fetched us rewards far beyond our expectations? The Good News to top it all is that the THE BEST (far more precious than any Nobel Prize) IS YET TO COME…

6. NO EXCUSE


“… “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! …And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’- Matt 25:24-30

"Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do & then NOT DOING it is SIN" (James 4:17)

The scene of the Master blasting lazy, excuse prone third servant leaves none in doubt that there is no place for sloth in God’s scheme of things. Despite seeing the diligent co-workers at work and given the long rope (for the Master came after a long time) to mend his ways, this sluggard had scant regard for the Master’s business who rightly took him to task for ignoring His tasks. That brings us to a subject within a subject. Sins of Commission and Sins of Omission.

Is it not relatively easy to be wary about the Sins of Commission? Although we are careful about not committing murder, theft, adultery, do we not often get tripped up by more subtle sins of omission? God is just as critical of the latter as He is of the former, as the above Scripture portions so amply reveal.

The parable of the Good Samaritan is yet another pointer to God’s mind on this theme. Just as Jesus was appreciative of the Good Samaritan, wasn’t he critical of the indifferent temple priest and the Levite?

Finally, coming to the ‘Sheep & goat ‘ Judgment, (Matt 25:31-46), which immediately follows the Parable of talents as though to emphasize a point both literally and figuratively… what does Jesus accuse the goats on His left hand of? The Sins of Commission? Murder, theft, adultery? NO! Rather, he accuses them of Sins of Omission. Of acts which they knew they had to do but didn’t!

The words of Jesus mentioned there should always ring in our ears: “I was hungry but YOU DID NOT FEED ME, I was thirsty but YOU DID NOT QUENCH MY THIRST, I was naked but YOU DID NOT CLOTHE ME and ..."

I kept sending you Bible-based /spiritual e-mails but you never even cared to reply to encourage me …BOOM, now who whispered this into my ear?



Yours in His service,


(Suresh Manoharan)