Summary: Talents (Gifts) are not the root but the fruit of our salvation. God has given us gifts, so we can be useful in His kingdom. There are no excuses for not being fruitful.
Leadership In the Church Text: Matthew 25: 14-30
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
This man (owner) was traveling to a far country, so he decides to give his servants his talents (silver, gifts). This owner is a type of Christ, and Jesus gave gifts unto men. Through out this chapter, you see two for instance as Jesus refers to the kingdom of heaven being likened unto.
First, 10 virgins- 5 wise and 5 foolish. Secondly, 3 men receiving talents. 2 wise, and 1 foolish. In both cases, the oil and the talents represent gifts given unto men. When Jesus returns, those who were saved and used their gifts (Sheep) will be on the right. Those who weren’t saved and didn’t use their gifts (Goats) on the left.
It’s important to remember that, gifts are given according to ability. Also, that gifts (talents) are the fruit, and not the root of salvation.