The Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) This parable is relevant to the Second Coming of Christ. A. This parable teaches us to utilize what Christ has given us in anticipation of His return. B. It is descriptive of the kingdom of heaven, the church under the heavenly Messianic reign of Jesus Christ. 1. In the church there would be found good and faithful servants, and wicked and slothful servants. 2. The lord of the servants represents the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was as a man travelling into a far country who delivered goods to his servants. A. The far country is obviously heaven. HEB 11:16. 1. Good news from a far country is said to satisfy thirsty souls. PRO 25:25. 2. So the gospel is preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. 1PE 1:12. B. Christ indeed went into heaven and delivered His servants gifts: church gifts. JOH 16:7 c/w ACT 2:1-4; EPH 4:8-11 c/w 1CO 12:28; 1CO 12:1-13. 1. These gifts accord with “...the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (JUDE 1:3). 2. As touching faithfulness of supply to His church, Christ always delivers. C. The talents were given “ every man according to his several ability...” (v. 15). 1. Several means “existing apart, separate; distinct.” 2. These talents correspond to the gifts which Christ gives us. 3. Note that not everyone is given the same amount of talents. 4. “...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required...” (LUK 12:48). 5. Note that Jesus only requires of us what we are able to do. 2CO 8:12. D. As the talents belonged to the lord and were given to the servants to be used for him, so we receive gifts from Christ to be used for Him. 1PE 4:10-11; 1CO 4:1-2; 10:31. 1. Mind that the goods are HIS goods; the servants do not own them but are rather entrusted with them. 1TH 2:4. 2. Therefore none should glory as if he had not received. 1CO 4:7. The lord returned after a LONG time to reckon with his servants. v. 19. A. The corresponding parable of the pounds was uttered to counter the notion that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. LUK 19:11-13. B. This was an indication that Christ's second coming would not occur right away. 2TH 2:1-2. 1. However, it was an assurance that He would come! JOH 14:2-3. 2. Paul and Peter did not expect Christ's return immediately in that they expected to die. ACT 20:24; 2TI 4:6; JOH 21:18 c/w 2PE 1:14-15. 3. Not expecting an immediate second coming should not destroy one's anticipation of it. Long absence is no excuse for slackness or wickedness. EXO 32:1; 2PE 3:3-4. 4. The intensity of one's longing overcomes time and distance. GEN 29:20. 5. The interest men have in a goal depends more on its greatness and probability than on its nearness. Many have dedicated themselves to causes not fulfilled in their lifetimes. C. As the lord reckoned with his servants, so will Christ demand a reckoning of His servants at His coming. ROM 14:10-12. The Parable of the Talents Page 1 1. 2. 3. In view of His reckoning we should reckon ourselves dead to sin. ROM 6:11. In view of His reckoning, we should reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ROM 8:18. Mind that the Second Coming is not the only time of reckoning with saints and churches. Christ examines and takes account of them in the present. REV 1-3. The man with five talents gained five more talents by trading and the man with two talents likewise doubled his. vs. 15-17. A. Quantitatively, the man with five talents produced more than the man with two talents. B. Qualitatively, the man with two talents did the same as the man with five and received the same praise. C. Both men “...traded with the same...” (vs. 16-17), i.e., with what their Lord gave them. They presumed not to trade with their own inventions nor trade upon others' benefits. D. The man with two talents had to work within his limitations. The Lord reserves the right to show discrimination in favor and we are obliged to make do with what we are given. JOH 21:21-22. E. He who thinks he must do everything and does not accept his limitations thinks too highly of himself. ROM 12:3. F. Note the following characteristics of good and faithful servants: 1. They do not slight things because they are few. ZEC 4:10. 2. They have something to show for the ability and opportunity that they have been given. JAM 2:18; 3:13. G. Mind that the greatest gain is godliness with contentment. 1TI 6:6. The faithful servants received a recompense of rulership over many things and entering into the joy of their lord. vs. 20-24. A. Likewise, the recompense for Christ's faithful servants at His coming. MAT 24:46-47; REV 21:7. B. The counterpart parable in LUK 19:15-19 indicates that the rewarded authority is relative to performance. 1. All God's children will be heirs to all of heaven, as far as possessing it. ROM 8:17. 2. Church members are fellowheirs of the body of Christ (EPH 3:6), but not everyone is a pastor. 3. Husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life and “...are no more twain, but one flesh” (MAT 19:6), but the husband is invested with the authority. 1PE 3:5-7. C. Faithful servants of Christ will also enter into His joy in that they will be with Christ at God's right hand where there is fulness of joy. PSA 16:8-11; HEB 12:2; REV 3:21. D. Mind that they only enter at Christ's word. None enter otherwise. REV 21:27. E. Believers should strive to improve upon His gifts so as to ensure an entrance is ministered unto them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom. 2PE 1:5-11. The servant with one talent went and hid his lord's money. vs. 24-25. A. He feared he could not measure up so he did nothing. B. His fear was generated by his view of his lord as a hard man. A view of God that excludes His mercy causes one to put off serving Him. 1CO 7:25; HEB 4:16. C. He really blamed his lord for his poor performance. c/w GEN 3:12. 1. He looked upon his lord's policies as being those of an Egyptian taskmaster. The Parable of the Talents Page 2 EXO 5:10-19. He labored not with little even though God is not unrighteous to forget even little works and labours of love. HEB 6:10 c/w MAT 10:42. Fear is an excuse for slothfulness. PRO 22:13. A preoccupation with perceived obstacles is stifling. ECC 11:4. Faith speaks of overcoming obstacles. ROM 5:2; PHIL 4:13; 1JO 5:4. The unfaithful servant was judged a “...WICKED and SLOTHFUL servant...” (v. 26). Omission of duty is sin as much as commission of iniquity. JAM 4:17. This servant should have put the money to exchangers so that the lord could have have received his own with usury. v. 26. 1. Something is better than nothing. 2. LUK 19:23 says that the least that could be done was to put the money in the bank. 3. Obviously, the Lord does not forbid all usury or banking. God expects us to increase what He has given us. 1TH 4:1, 9-10; 2PE 1:5-8; 3:18. The lord took the one talent from the slothful servant and gave it to him that had ten talents. vs. 28-29 c/w LUK 16:10-11. 1. Those who do not increase what they have will lose even that. LUK 13:6-9. 2. Those who do make good use of what they have been given will be given more. 2CO 9:7-11. The slothful servant was unprofitable and was cast into outer darkness where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. v. 30. 1. There are those who have been given gifts, but no grace, i.e., they are not children of God. MAT 10:1-8 c/w JOH 17:12; MAT 7:21-23. 2. Such doctrine is incentive for continual self-examination and improvement. HEB 12:14-17; PHIL 3:8-15. 2. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K.

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