WHAT IS A TALENT?
∗The talent as a unit of value is mentioned in the New Testament in Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
∗This parable is the origin of the use of the word “talent” to mean “gift or skill” in English and other languages.
THE GIST OF THE PARABLE
∗ Matthew, in chapters 24-25, records the Lord’s heart of compassion and love mingled with unwavering holiness.
∗ The master who is travelling is delegating to them the responsibility, as stewards, to care of his kingdom.
∗ The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30, impresses on them the weight of that responsibility and the serious consequences of neglecting to understand and apply his instructions.
∗ There is also a message to all mankind.
∗ If the talents are talents of gold, the value of what the master entrusted to the stewards would be immensely high, in millions of dollars.
∗ Since the lord uses only the term “talents” we must make some assumptions, but is seems reasonable to assume that the owner of the talents, the man travelling into a far country, is a wealthy man.
∗ He is entrusting his wealth to three men who become stewards of his money.
∗ One receives five talents. Another receives two talents. A third steward receives one talent.
∗ Each is given a significant amount of money.
∗ These are stewards entrusted with the care of the money.
∗ The stewards must know the personality and character of their lord.
∗ He expects them to know him well enough to apply the spirit as well as the letter of his instructions. Those that do are richly rewarded. The others receive severe judgement.
∗ The amount given is based on each steward’s ability.
∗ The first two understand the spirit and letter of instructions and the character of their lord.
∗ They both use the resources by “trading” to gain a profit.
∗ Each of them makes a 100 percent profit.
∗ Fear and mistrust of his lord motivate the third steward.
∗ He buries the money in the earth and returns the original amount.
∗ The profitable stewards are praised, given increased responsibilities and invited to enter into the joy of their lord.
∗ The distrusted steward is scolded, rejected, and punished.
THE APPLICATION OF THE PARABLE
∗ The traveller is Jesus Christ,who is our Lord, is leaving for an undisclosed period of time.
∗ This section of Scripture, including the Parable of the Talents, constitutes final warnings, prophecies, and encouragements to His people of Israel prior to His departure.
∗ It is first a message to the people of Israel that they live in the last days before the Lord returns.
The statement, in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved,” is a key statement.
∗ The stewards are his disciples, who have to multiply and bring more people into the Lord, by reaching the people through the preaching and teaching of His Word.
∗ The first two stewards refer to the believers of His Word, they worked hard significantly, they multiplied their talents doubly.
∗ Whereas the third steward refers to non-believers or a hypocrite, who tend suspect the master in order to hide his sins.
∗ Master’s coming back refers to the Second Coming of the Lord and the day of judgement.
∗ This is the believing remnant that will receive the promise of the Kingdom.
∗ In Matthew 24:32-34, the Lord states, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
∗ Those who believe Him will be rewarded in His kingdom.
∗ The basis of the reward will be their stewardship of His resources entrusted to them.
∗ Those who fear and do not believe will be rejected and judged and punished.
THE UNIVERSAL APPLICATION
∗ Everything we have, comes from God and belongs to Him.
∗ We are responsible for using those resources, so that they increase in value.
∗ As Christians, we have additionally the most valuable resource of all – the Word of God.
∗ If we believe and understand Him, and apply His Word as good stewards, we are a blessing to others and the value of what we have done multiplies.
∗ We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.
∗ Christ keeps no servants to be idle: we have received everything from Him, and have nothing we can call our own, but sin.
∗ Our receiving the talents from Christ is our contribution to Him in the most effective manner.
∗ The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
∗ There is a day of judgement for all of us, on which nobody can escape.
∗ We must all be reckoned with as to what good we have got to our own souls, and have done to others, by the advantages of what we have enjoyed.
∗ It is not meant that improving our strength and power can entitle a man to Divine grace.
∗ It is the real Christian’s liberty and privilege to be employed as our Redeemer’s servant, in promoting His glory, and for the good of His people.
∗ The love of Christ constrains us to live no longer to ourselves, but to Him who died for us, and rose come back again.
∗ Those who think that it is impossible to please God, and in vain to serve Him, will do nothing to do to glorify His name..
∗ The faithful will be fruitful to some degree and the fruitless is unmasked as a hypocrite and utterly destroyed.
∗ The slothful servant does not represent a genuine believer, for it is obvious that this man had no true knowledge of his Master.
∗ His doom is, to be cast into outer darkness. It is a usual way of expressing the miseries of the damned in hell.
∗ The recipient of divine grace inherit immeasurable blessings in addition to eternal life and the favour of God.
∗ But those who despise the riches of God’s goodness and clinging onto transient goods of the world will ultimately loose everything what they have.
∗ It talks about the final judgement.
GOD’S PROVISION AND EXPECTATION
∗ The Lord has entrusted lots of things to us: money, natural talents, spiritual gifts, the saving truth of the Gospel.
∗ In the last supper discourse (John 15) He speaks of the disciples as bearing much fruit.
∗ In the Parable of the Sower and the Seed He speaks of grain that bear 30, 60, and 100 fold.
∗ Whatever labour we are involved in–economic, family, apostolic–the goal should be to develop, increase, and grow what God has given us, for His honour and glory.
* Being involved is part of being prepared.
Lord, make us to use of the talents that You have given and glorify Your name. Let’s be prepared for Your coming. Save us and redeem us from all the iniquities. Amen
Glory be to God.