In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, our Lord tells a story of a man who is going on a long journey. The master entrusts his slaves with differing amounts of money, “each according to his own ability (25:15).” When the master gets back from his journey, he expects a return on his money. He expects that the slaves will have used the master’s money to make more. There are a number of lessons to learn from this parable.
MEANING OF THE PARABLE: The Lord Jesus tells the parable to show that, just as this master entrusts his money into the hands of these slaves so that they will produce a return while he is gone on his journey, even so the Lord has entrusted the gospel and the joys of the Kingdom into the hands of His saints so that they will spread the fame and the glory of Jesus throughout the earth and so that many will come to faith in Him and will be His worshipers forever. Having been called into the Kingdom, we have the responsibility to proclaim Jesus Christ. The Lord will reward or punish us based on how we have carried out that responsibility.
DIFFERING ABILITIES: The parable makes clear that not all people have the same ABILITY and the same OPPORTUNITY, but all have the same RESPONSIBILITY to use all our time, talents and treasure to glorify the Lord Jesus with all of our lives. It is obvious that people have differing levels of ability. Some have strength and eloquence and power and are able to lead and influence multitudes, while others simply blend in with the crowd and are barely noticed. Some are placed in positions of prominence with many opportunities to impact other people, whereas others live in relative obscurity and have a small network of very ordinary people. But regardless of ABILITY and OPPORTUNITY, we all have the RESPONSIBILITY to proclaim Jesus to the world (1 Peter 2:9). We are called to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and we must be intentional in finding out how to do that and in bringing that proclamation to pass.
NO EXCUSE FOR NO RETURN: Observe carefully that the slave who was given one talent returned to the master exactly one talent. The master, who praised the other two slaves for their efforts and their results, severely rebukes the one-talent slave for his lack of return. He calls that slave wicked and lazy, he takes away the one talent that he had, and he throws the one-talent slave into the outer darkness. The symbolism is clear: The human being who is given the gift of life will have no excuse on the day of judgment. The Lord has given life, and on that day we will all give an account for what we have done with our lives to glorify the great King of kings. (Hebrews 9:27) Believer or unbeliever – all will be judged. Where will you stand on that day? Are you using your “talent” to spread the fame and the glory of the Lord of all the earth?
We have differing levels of ability and so we will have different quantity and quality of results, but the Lord will judge us based on what we did with the abilities and opportunities He gave is.
HOW TO HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT: The difference is not how many talents I have, but it is rather how fully yielded I am to the One who has ALL POWER. A one-talent believer who is fully yielded into the hands of the Lord and fully obedient to the commands of the Lord and fully committed to the service of the Lord will make a mighty impact for the Lord. It is not the power of the instrument, but the power of the One wielding the instrument that makes all the difference.
SDG rmb 3/20/2018