Matthew 25:14-30

In this passage
we find ourselves in the middle of a series of statements Jesus made about the
absence, but imminent return of a master.  In Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus spoke
of His return and He said “No one knows the day and hour, not even the angels
of heaven…”  In verse forty-four He said, “ Be ready.” In Matthew 24:45-51,
Jesus spoke of how unwise it is for a servant to serve as though his master
will not return and discover what he has done. The parable of the wise and foolish
virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) points out that the foolish virgins were not prepared
for the coming of the bridegroom.  In each of these stories the master or the
groom is absent, but will appear at a time when least expected.

Now we come to
the Parable of the Talents (vv. 14-30) and again we see a dramatic picture of
responsibility in the absence of the master.  Three men receive talents or abilities
from their master.  One received five talents, one received two talents, and
one received one talent.  These talents are essentially the gifts or abilities
given to someone to do the job they have been asked to do.  The parable focuses
on the useless one talent man.  Useless not because he had only one talent,
but because he refused to use what he had.  Gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities
not used are lost.

Have you ever wondered
why some people seem to be given much responsibility and others are given little? 
From time to time we may hear people questioning why a certain person seems
to get the great opportunities.  Could trustworthiness be a factor?

The story before
us is about responsibility and accountability and trust.  The text contains
three simple and practical truths:

The Lord Sovereignly Dispenses His Gifts (v.15)

The recepient of
the gift does not determine the nature, or the size, or the function of the
gift.  “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one,
to each according to his ability, and immediately he went on a journey”. 

God gives us opportunities
and abilities to serve Him.

The Lord Requires Accountability for His Gifts (v.19)

The master who
gave the talents also inspects how those talents are used. 

The Christian life
is a life of responsibility.  We have been entrusted with the Gospel.  We have
been entrusted with the Word of God.  God has entrusted His people with His
program and purpose on earth.  The question is:  Can we be trusted?

The apostle Paul
pictured how God entrusts His people with valuable treasures in Second Corinthians
4:7, “ But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of
the power may be of God and not of man”.

The Lord Responds to the Neglect of His Gifts (v.26)

Please notice that
our Lord’s words of anger are not about the person, but about the person’s performance. 
The one talent man who buried his talent lost everything.   He is a picture
of a saved soul and lost life.

Look at Paul’s
sobering words in First Corinthians 3:13-15, “ …each one’s work will become
clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and
the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which
he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned
, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire”.

Your usefulness
and fruitfulness God’s Kingdom work will be determined by your trustworthiness. 
Can you be trusted with all He has given to you? 


brief provided by: Roger D. Willmore, pastor of Deerfoot
Baptist Church in Trussville, Alabama

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