The Weekend Word
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
- We need to take note that this was his property – not company or communal.
- This is about stewardship – not about money – but what you do with what you have and why.
15 To one he gave five talents to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
- God has expectations of us according to our ability. People have different capacities in their gifts.
- Billy Graham can preach to more people than I ever will. He was given the world and I was given this class. The expectation for faithfulness is the same for both of us.
16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.
- This first guy was clear about the gift given him because he understood who the master was.
- This would be like someone hearing a call to be a (fill in a vocation) and going out and doing it.
17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
- Ditto for this guy.
- Note that there is nothing that indicates that the number mattered at all – “why did he get five and I received only two?”
- A good example for Nike – Just Do It.
18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
- Obviously, this guy is going to be the point of the parable.
- This is not a class on investing – this is a teaching on being faithful to the end.
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
- What imagery do we see here? The master returns and does his accounting / bookkeeping.
- What did we see in the parable above about the virgins? The master / bridegroom returns to take care of the business he had promised – and we will see the same with the parable below at the end of the chapter.
20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’
21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
- They each appear for their accounting.
- Note that God rewards by calling him faithful and based on that faithfulness he is given reward.
- I would imagine “the joy of your master” would be heaven.
22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’
23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
- Same thing, same compliment and reward – for being faithful.
24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,
- This guy has a preconceived view of God as one who gives you what “you deserve.” In that case you will get what you deserve.
- The God you believe in will be the God you have.
25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’
- I think he was thinking “at least I didn’t lose his money; I am able to return his one talent.”
- For practical purposes let us look at ourselves as being this 3rd servant – we are the believer who has been given and been equipped by the Lord to go out and invest himself in others.
- “I am not going to tell my neighbor about Jesus because I may offend him.”
- “I am not going to talk to someone about a deep and difficult theological / moral / ethical question because I may turn them off and they may leave the church (abortion – same sex marriage etc.)”
- “I am afraid I will do more harm than good because I do not know enough.”
26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
- There is no ‘good and faithful servant’ for this guy.
27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
- We get hung up on the 5, the 2, and the 1. We wonder why he got 5 – what quality did he possess that made him qualified for 5 while the other guys has qualities that they were worthy of less.
- The point here – the main point – the only point is faithfulness with what you have and you have put to use what has been given.
- What has God given you? Everything! In his Son Jesus Christ, in his suffering, death and resurrection, he put his name on you in holy baptism, he gives you his word of forgiveness,
- He speaks that word of forgiveness in his absolution, in the sermon and he gives you his body and his blood.
- We must be faithful in those things – be faithful in them and trust them.
- Jesus is the savior, he died for you, rose for you, he has given you the benefits of his Calvary dying – trust him – be faithful.
28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.
- It is so important to use Jesus properly that for those who do not, it is taken away.
- What does it mean to have good use of Jesus, or put the talents to use?
- ) Jesus died for the forgiveness of sin and I am a sinner. Let me think this through – well let me use Jesus for my forgiveness, for my life and for my salvation.
- ) This is the point of being a disciple – being faithful with what you have been given as a disciple.
- ) Our job is to teach people how to use Jesus properly –
- ) No, you put Jesus to work in your life “yes I am a sinner, thank you Jesus that you died for me – help me to believe that.”
- ) What is the opposite of that? You do not bury Jesus in the ground and say, “no, Jesus’ death does not count for me.” – People do say this when they say “God cannot forgive me for what I have done.”
- ) and the proper answer from us is? – he can, he does and in fact he has already done it.
29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
- What can this mean?
- Again we see Jesus making the separation.
- This guy is an unbeliever.
30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
- Ouch! Cast into outer darkness just for breaking even? The master goes off and left his servants with no instructions and expected them to do the best thing.
- I can see why the 3rd guy was terrified …but that is because we get lost in the details of the parable.
- OK, well this is where Jesus my buddy, Jesus my co pilot gets a bit awkward.
- But, once again, there is a hell – and people end up there.