1) The Responsibility we are given
For it will be like a man going on a journey that entrusted His servants with His property
Servants can be doctors, accountants, Hair stylist and other trades because people would become property when they could not pay back their debts. So the servants were not uneducated people but those who had skill areas that the master could entrust them with.
Once again Jesus talks about their being a delay in the return which shows that there will be a period of time between His first coming and His second coming. It is this period of waiting that we are now in as we await Jesus return.
To one He gave five talents, to another two, and to the other one to each according to his own ability
A talent was the weight that a soldier could carry on his back which was 75-100 pounds of silver or Gold.
The Master gave each one of them a task. I always point out that if a soldier could carry 75-100 pounds then the one with five talents was given almost 500 pounds. So with that he would not be able to carry the load himself. Too many times we make following Christ about us and we say things like “God will not give you more than you can handle.” This is simply not true. God gives us amounts of responsibility knowing that we have to rely on Him for the strength, wisdom and perseverance to pull it off.
1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
Immediately the one who had received five talent went and worked with his money
The servants given 5 and 2 talents did not waste any time but got to work right away doubling what they were given. It was not that they had more talent than the one given one talent it was that they worked not knowing when the Master would return.
Worked or traded means there was a constant effort in their duties.
In our lottery minded society that expects quick returns we sometimes grow disheartened. The way it was written is that the period of earning double the amount given, took time. Too many people do things for Christ but if they do not see results right away they quit and move on. These men had to invest and invest and invest in order to double the amounts they were given.
Immediately” shows that the concern was to carry out the masters wishes and did not concern themselves with what their own wills were.
The emphasis of the story is not what we are given but what we do with what we have been given. Many people like to say if they had more talent, ability, time or whatever then they will do more for God. That is simply not true because if you are not diligently working with what you do have then you will not work harder if you are given more. We all have different amount of time and talent for our lives and God has given to us those gifts by His sovereign choice.
It is not the amount of money or talent you have been given that matters only what you do with it
Romans 12:4-8 For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
For those who have children your time might be a little shorter than others who are single or their children are grown and out of the house. For those who have to take care of a loved one who is special needs or at the end of their life your time is shorter because God has given you the responsibility to care for them. It is not if you have one talent or time or 5 the key is doing what you can with what you have.
It is not about Equal return but equal effort
2) The Disobedience when we do nothing
But the one who had received one went away and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
This was not a guy who took the money and lost it. This was not a guy who took the money and spent it on himself. This was a guy who simply sat back and did nothing for the kingdom. He was not a bad guy or an evil guy but just a selfish guy who wanted to live for himself and not his master.
Revelation 3:15-1 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Being a disciple is not just about avoiding sin, but about advancing the Kingdom of God.
God is not content for us to sit back and do nothing evil, God is not asking us to play it safe. God is asking us to carry out the assignment He has given us no matter how big or small that it is.
God is asking us to risk it all for Him because we have nothing to lose only He does. It is His money, His resources and His loss if we fail trying.
How many times do you not do something for God because you are scared to take a risk?
Overseas mission trip because it is not safe? Moving to another city because of the uncertainty? Leaving a job that is ungodly because you have security in a paycheck?
3) The Accountability we will all experience
After a long time away the master returned to settle the accounts
One day we will all stand before God for what we did with the things He gave us. Jesus first order of business with us, will be to see what we did with His things that He entrusted us with. .
Well done good and faithful servant
The first two presented the results to God doing what they should have done. It was more about the slave’s attitude than about their accomplishment. They did the best they could and that is all that is asked of any of us.
Present: to give a gift. One day we will present things to God and it will be our present back to Him.
Colossians 1:28-29 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
As you serve and minister to others that is part of your present back to God. He placed people in your life for a reason and how you treat them and invest in them will be shown to Him one day. Here is the neat thing. Not only will you present that person but the lives they bless as well. As you poured into one and they poured into another you will get credit for that. It is like a multi level marketing scheme where you get some credit for the lives they impact as well.
You will never know the impact you are making this side of heaven.
Whatever talent you have been given you will be able to give back to Him with how you used it.
When you use your gift of teaching you are presenting that to God.
When you use your gift of administration you are presenting that to God.
When you use your finances for Him you are presenting that to God.
Revelation 22:12 Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
Faithful over a little I will place you over much
As we are faithful to do what God has called us to do He will not only give us more opportunities in this lifetime but also in eternity.
We will have responsibilities in Heaven because work was designed by God and so for all eternity we will be doing things for Him. It will be work that is restored back to the original design before Adam and Eve sinned.
Notice to the one who was given the unheard of amount of money, that now He says you have been given little. The amount of Gold was around 500 pounds of Gold and the Master says that was nothing compared to the riches of eternity. Compared to what we are going to receive in eternity this is nothing. The stuff we think is so valuable in this life is nothing to God. This does not mean it is not important to Him, but not as valuable as we think it is.
See also 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
Enter into the joy of your master
When we stand before Jesus and He says job well done it will be like nothing else we have ever experienced. The greatest reward we will get is seeing the Joy of Jesus toward us as we did the things He wanted us to accomplish. Like a mom who receives a gift from her child it is not the work that was done but the joy of the one she is receiving it from.
4) The Excuses that will be made
Master I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did no scatter
The blame game if very popular in our country and especially in politics. We seem to make many excuses for why things did not happen the way we thought they should, and we tend to blame everyone else except ourselves.
He began to make false accusations against His master simply because he did not do what he was supposed to. Adam blamed God and Eve, Eve blamed the serpent. So if there is no one else to blame then it must be Gods fault.
“For all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been” John Greenleaf Whittier
To many people live a life of regret because they did not take risk or focus on the things that really matter. Not all of us have the same opportunities but we have the same responsibility to accomplish what was laid out in front of us.
We are supposed to live our lives with the opportunities we have been given. (Ecclesiastes 11:6; Proverbs 10:5; John 12:35-36)
I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground
This shows he did not really know the master because if he did then he would have known that if he would have lost it all trying, the master would have understood. Saying he was afraid was an excuse because if he was afraid he would have done something with the money he was given.
He was trying to cover up that he was apathetic to his master, and really did not care about what his master wanted.
When you do not care about the things of God then it shows you do not care about God
Many are attached to the church that do not belong to the church. Just like Judas was given responsibility his true nature shows for what it really is in the end. Judas only followed Jesus for what He could get from Him and the servant enjoyed eating the Masters food and living in the Masters house.
Of course as Christians when we do the things God calls us to do we never lose out eternally even if it seems we lost here in this world.
5) The Rebuke toward the lazy
But the master responded you evil and lazy slave
The slave was selfish and did not take risk because risks take work.
This is the opposite of Good and Faithful servant.
You should have placed my money in with the bankers
God is saying; “Do something with what I gave you.”
Jon Acuff “ Some is better than none”
It was if the master was saying, “If you are not going to give me ten percent give one percent. If you are not going to serve me one hour a week at least serve me one hour a month. ” He could have put the money in the bank and made something back for the master but instead he buried it and there was nothing gained while the master was out.
Take the talent from him and throw him out
Again the idea is that the slave looked like he belonged but he did not. Just like the 5 virgins and the wheat and the tares and the man who was not dressed properly, so it will be on the last day when many church going people will miss heaven because they did not have a relationship with the Master.
Those who live only for themselves, and have no concern for what the Master wants, show they do not belong to Him, and therefore lose their eternal reward with Him.
If you are apathetic or indifferent to the things of God, then you are in a dangerous place spiritually. You need to examine yourself and see why your heart is not geared toward the things of God. It might just be you do not know the Master.
John 15:5-6 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you belong to Christ then the promise is you will produce fruit, but if not one day you will be cut off and thrown out. (John 15)
6) The Reward that is promised
For everyone who has more will be given
Those who are focused on doing what the Master wishes and are willing to sacrifice their time, effort, energy and finances, truly show they belong to the Master and He will reward them.
Notice that the money the faithful servants were given for investment, were given to him. The Master did not say just keep the interest, He said to keep it all.
2 Timothy 2:4- 6 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
How are you using the things God has given you to advance His kingdom?
Are you only concerned with your needs, your wants and you are not willing to sacrifice some energy, sleep or finances for Him?
Do you believe that everything you have has been given to you by God?
It does not matter if you have one talent or five it only matters that you are using it for Him. We should be constantly focused on the Masters business not knowing when He will return and hold us accountable for what we did on this earth.
We should look forward to His return but stay focused on the task. We have one life to make a difference for the Kingdom.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
Some of you are trying to use your gifts and talents for God and I want to encourage you that one day you will present to Him all that you have done.
Do not give up, do not give in and do not give out.