PARABLE OF THE TALENTS ~ MATTHEW 25:14-30 14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 “’Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ PART 1: INTRODUCTION Unfortunately, this parable is often mistaken as a parable regarding money. As we know from several verses in the New Testament, including 1 Timothy 6:10... “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows“, and Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”... Jesus put NO value in earthly money or riches. Rather, this parable is regarding stewardship of the Lord’s gifts given to men and our individual service in the Lord. This parable is also a gift, to guide and teach us, intended only for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear... “And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand’” (Luke 8:10). PART 1: INTRODUCTION cont. The Lord places great importance on stewardship... “And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:42-48). Thus says the Lord Jesus: One who is called by My own name, Who also proclaims faith in My name, saying they follow Me, Yet serves Me and others in a way contrary to Me And those gifts received in Me, is a liar... For by one’s actions is the heart revealed. Mere proclamation is empty, and faith dead, if no good works follow. PART 2: EXPLANATION OF Matthew 25: 14-30 Verse 14 a. The man going on a journey is Jesus. b. His servants are those who believe in Jesus. c. His property refers to His gospel and His ways and salvation/forgiveness or Holy Spirit. All is the Lord’s and given to us to share with all, including our money and things and salvation and truth... “For the world is Mine, and everything in it.” ~ Psalm 50:12 PART 2: EXPLANATION OF Mathew 25: 14-30 cont. Verse 15 a. The talents represent our faith, works in faith and spiritual gifts (not money). b. According to his ability - Or in other words, according to or in proportion to his faith. (Please see Matthew 9:29 and Romans 12:6). c. went on His journey - At the time, Jesus was talking to His disciples, so when He spoke to them He was referring to His Ascension. And at this present time, we are anxiously awaiting His return. Verse 16 a. man with five talents gained five - This is not bringing five people to faith, but rather, it is his works done in faith, and his gifts from the Lord used for the Lord’s purpose as a testament of God’s love. In a sense, he doubled what the Lord had given him in his life, through all his works done in faith, and sharing what he had with others - a giving heart (i.e. He told people about Jesus, obeyed the commandments (2 John 1:6), followed Jesus’ ways, cleaned up his life, etc.). b. The man who received five talents received a lot, so more was expected of him (Luke 12:47-48). Those, who know the Truth, must walk in its ways (1 John 2:6), and further the Kingdom in them and help others to do the same. You cannot force another person to become a believer... You can only share, lead, and be an example for them, with the hope they will also come to believe (1 Timothy 4:12), because the Lord had first called to them (John 6:44, 6:65). Verse 17 a. The explanation of this verse is the same as the man with five talents, but on a lesser scale. Verse 18 a. The man who had received one talent was weak in faith and lazy (vs. 26), hiding what he had from others, neither increasing or decreasing. This servant was neither cold, nor hot... He remained lukewarm. (Revelation 3:15-16) PART 2: EXPLANATION OF Mathew 25: 14-30 cont. Verse 19 a. This verse refers to Jesus’ return. Verse 20 a. The Master is Jesus. b. The man with five represents the faithful servants working in Christ, bearing fruit. (Please see the explanation of verse 16 on the previous page). Verse 21 a. This verse is self-explanatory. b. Come and share in your Master’s joy - In other words, “come and be with Christ in His Kingdom”. Verses 22 & 23 a. The explanation of these verses is the same as for verse 21. Verse 24 a. The hard man refers to The Rock/Jesus, because His commands and laws are beyond question. He and His laws are permanent and unmovable. The Lord is the Lord of all. b. harvesting where you have not sown - Jesus gives us the “seed”, but we must scatter it for others and also plant it in our hearts... It is a free-will choice. c. harvesting where you have not sown - This also means Jesus harvests where others have planted (i.e. prophets, apostles, pastors, anyone who proclaims the true Gospel and the words of the Bible). d. gathered where you have not scattered seed - This is a reference to the Gentiles and other nations not of Israel (Matthew 15:24), and also of all those who would come to believe in Christ after His ascension (John 10:16). Verse 25 a. so I was afraid - This servant feared the Lord, but feared the reproach of the world more... He was ashamed of his faith. b. hid it in the ground - The faith of this servant died because he bore no fruit, choosing rather to keep it hidden, making no effort to share it or increase it... “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17, 20, 26). c. here is what belongs to you - The servant never made the gift (faith, truth, salvation, forgiveness and gift of the Spirit) the Lord gave him his own. He never accepted Jesus into his heart. In a sense, the servant gave Jesus’ gift back, because he never really accepted or embraced it in the first place. Verse 26 a. This explanation of this verse is the same as the explanation for verses 18 & 24. Verse 27 a. should have put my money on deposit with the bankers - This servant should have at least sought to learn more about what the Lord had given him, by reading the Bible, going to fellowship or learning from those who had received more than he. b. banker - This refers to the prophets, the apostles, pastors and the Bible itself. c. with interest - This refers to a strengthening of faith, through seeking knowledge and understanding. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, And all these things shall be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:33 PART 2: EXPLANATION OF Mathew 25: 14-30 cont. Verse S 28-29 28 “’Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. a. Those, who have faith/trust and obey, and also use what the Lord has given them, will receive salvation and all the Lord has prepared for them in His kingdom. And in this current life, they will have more peace, joy and happiness in their own lives... What you sow in your life, you will reap; and the more you sow, the more you will reap. b. Those, who have little, are ashamed of what they have, and/or they reject what they have been given... To them will the devil come and take away what little they have. c. Read the Parable of the Sower, and Jesus’ explanation of the parable, for better understanding (Matthew 13:3-9 and Matthew 13:18-22). Verse 30 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ a. When the Lord returns for all those who are His, in who He sees of Himself, those to whom He has given of His gift, of which they have accepted and used, He will gather them up to Heaven, and the rest left to refinement and judgment. He will remove the light, and only the darkness will remain on the earth...There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. b. The servant, with the one talent, will be left behind and not allowed to escape to Heaven (Luke 21:36), because he had rejected that which he had been given by Jesus’ death and resurrection. (See also the Parable of the Ten Virgins - Matthew 25:11-12). PART 3: CONCLUSION We are born freed from sin through Jesus... It is only our embracing of sin and rejection of Jesus that makes us lost to the Kingdom. So then, turn from sin and embrace your Savior, and be born again out of a world of sin. Shed the image of the world, and put on the image of Christ, who is the perfect reflection of the Father in Heaven. All men are no longer slaves to sin... All are free men. But one must choose to stay free. Only those fully baptized in the Spirit, wearing the image of Christ, may enter the Kingdom. All corruptible must put on that which is incorruptible. Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, But cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:6-8 PART 3: CONCLUSION cont. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; Behold, all things have become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5: 17 For this material which can decay must be clothed with imperishability, This which is mortal must be clothed with immortality. ~ 1 Corinthians 15: 53 FROM JESUS, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR: All sin is abolished... All are saved through Me, because of My death and resurrection, which has overcome sin and death. So then, none are lost because of sin, for all sin is forgiven. Only one’s rejection of that Truth and forgiveness leads them to damnation, for they have chosen sin over salvation in their rejection of the Spirit and Christ. Forgiveness is lost to them, because they have chosen to keep what I have taken from them.