Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) *All Verses in NKJV*

– As Pastor Matt said last week, this section of scripture is Jesus using different parables to try and describe “the Kingdom of Heaven” to his disciples, because it is important that they understand it. 

– Jesus is coming back, it is expected, but no one knows when, so we must be prepared.

– Remember, this is an allegory, not real people, meant to help you apply the principal to your lives.

– Read Matthew 25:14-30

– The parable of the talents is about what the kingdom of heaven will be like in the last days.

– The lord represents Christ, while the three servants represent those who serve him. (Us)

– The lord’s return symbolizes the last days when Jesus will return, and at the final judgment unrepentant sinners will perish and those serving God will be rewarded according to their service.

– This seems pretty straight forward, but let’s look deeper to see how we can apply this to OUR lives:

1. Be a good steward.

– What does the “talent” represent? In this parable it is literally money.

– Figuratively it represents your God-given gifts and abilities, including your time and resources.

– Our modern-day word “talents” has evolved over the centuries from the context of this parable.

– A talent is a unit of currency worth 75lbs of silver, or a bag of gold. The NIV footnotes describe it as equal to 20 years of wages. Today’s round numbers: $75k p/y, x 20 = $1.5 million (pre-tax).

– Verse 19 says, “After a long time the lord of those servants came to settle accounts with them.” 

– It is easy to presume that the money and time they received represents their whole life’s work.

– God has made a significant investment in your life. You are valuable to God!

– It is all “God’s stuff” anyways, because everything we have has been given to us by the Lord.

– Verse 14 says, the man “…called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.”

Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…

– The fact that the lord owns the money he gave the servants, and he will get the results of their investments, highlights who is in control. 

– The purpose of these God-given gifts it to serve the Lord with them faithfully until he returns.

– It is a mind set and a heart condition.

Proverbs 16:3, Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.

– A good steward cares for what he has been entrusted with, desiring to return it in better condition than it was received. A good steward is thankful for the blessing and doesn’t feel entitled to it.

Example: Guy in high school driving father’s car. “Why don’t you wash it?” “It’s not my car.”

Phil 2:3-4, Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

– We find joy and purpose in our life when we serve God with our gifts, time, talents, and resources.

2. You know the Lord’s intent.

– If you read your bible, the Lord’s intent for your life should be pretty clear: Love, give, serve, obey, repent, sacrifice, etc… The New Testament is full of instruction of how to live a life God approves of.

Micah 6:8, He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?  (This is not an exhaustive list…)

Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

2 Tim. 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

– You may not know your specific calling yet, but that is no excuse for not getting to work on what you do know!

– Verse 15 says, each servant was given a different amount “…each according to his own ability…”

– We all have received a measure of gifting and resources. The more you have received, the more that will be expected of you. 

– Their faithfulness was not determined by how much they earned, only that they did the work.

– I presume that if the servant receiving one talent had turned it into two, he also would have been called good and faithful.

Example: Chan, father of the missionary in Cambodia. Saved when it was illegal, got family saved, raised up other pastors and leaders for the surrounding villages, held together the Christian community in a land of religious oppression, poverty, and struggle. He made NO excuses!

– It is tempting to complain that we have not received the same opportunities that someone else has, but we have all received the Holy Spirit which makes us well able. On God’s strength, not our own!

2 Cor. 9:8, And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

– The calling we have received is to Do SOMETHING!

Matthew 25:27, So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

– This servant is described as wicked and lazy because he buried his talent and avoided the hard work the other servants had been faithfully doing. He was an excuse maker, instead of a way-maker.

– I believe there are others who may bury their talent, not out of selfishness, but out of fear.

– Some of you may falsely believe that if you step out in faith with honest motives, not sure of what God’s calling is, and choose wrong, that judgement and condemnation will be the result. NO WAY!

 – I believe that if you “walk by faith and not by sight”, but end up walking the wrong direction, the Lord will still bless you and turn you back onto the right path. Romans 8:28 applies here…

Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 

– Don’t be frozen by fear. Do something by faith!

Eph. 3:20, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory!

3. Look forward to the Lord’s return. Joyfully, not fearfully.

– We often think of the coming judgement as a fearful thing, and it will be for those who are disobedient, unsaved, and slaves to this world… those who are unprepared for the Lord’s return.

Example: Boot Camp, when the D.I. would “toss the squad bay”… I remember the dreadful feeling I had thinking the D.I. would return before we could get everything squared away again.

– For the faithful who have prepared, the Lord’s coming is a joyful end to the struggle, a reward!

Col. 3:23-24, And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Romans 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

– The Parable of the Talents is a challenge for you, and an encouragement, to invest what God has given, to grow the Kingdom. There’s a reward waiting for those who steward God’s resources well. 

**When our race has been run, and our journey is done, let us all look forward to hearing the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful… Enter into the joy of your lord.”

* Give your life to him today so you can look forward to his coming also… There is still time!

– 2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

– Alter call – – prayer –

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