Summary: What we have is given to us, they are not ours. We are given what we can handle by God's sovereign will. We are all different, designed to be that way. We are to invest what we have been given. Our focus is on doing our best, not in comparing or compe
Beginning from Chapter 24 (p.9), Jesus started to talk about the “signs of the end times”.
• He will return one day, but just before He does, what can we expect to see. The disciples asked Him in 24:3.
• Jesus went on describe the signs of the end times. Until 24:36 He says no one knows the day and time of His return.
• We need to be watchful (last part of chapter 24). 24:45 – and be the faithful and wise servants.
For the day He returns (surely He would), it will not be to save the world but to judge mankind.
• End of chapter 25 says He will differentiate the sheep and the goats (25:32), those who belong to Him and those who have chosen to reject Him.
• So when we have the opportunity, we put our trust in Jesus. He alone can save us from our sin. He is the way, the truth and the life. Apart from Him, no one can be saved.
So before He returns, while we are living on earth, what are we supposed to do?
• We are to be watchful and to be faithful and wise servants
• Sandwiched in between Jesus shared TWO parables in Chapter 25 - the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents.
• Both emphasize how we ought to PREPARE ourselves to FACE God.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins highlights the need for us to be always prepared, be watchful, because we do not know when He will come.
• And then He went on to the 2nd Parable – the parable of the talents – which explains more what God expects to do.
• This parable reveals a few truths we can remind ourselves of.
(1) WHAT WE HAVE IS GIVEN TO US; THEY ARE NOT OURS
We are like these servants. The Master has left us but will return.
• Verse14 – the Master entrusted his property to his servants
• It was common in those times for wealthy businessmen to entrust their property and business to trustworthy employees.
What we have today are gifts from God. We don’t own anything. He gives us everything.
• We don’t always feel that way. We work hard every day, we toil, we expense our energy and time, and we get our pay at the end of the month to buy what we need.
• It looks like that, but we know it is not. We depend on God for everything we have.
The floods in Thailand cause us to fear we do not have rice to eat. Economic recession make us fear we will lose our job. A mosquito bite can strike us down with sickness.
• What we have today comes to us because God has given us good health, so we can work. God has given us a good mind, so our boss employs us.
• In the minds of these servants, they are clear – what they have in their hands belong to their Master.
• They are just stewards and not owners. So are we.
Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
• Actually we don’t own anything. We bring nothing into this world, and we will bring nothing along with us.
• Solomon wrote about this in Eccl 2:18-22 (p. 658)
18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
Life without acknowledgement of God is meaningless.
• Until we recognize this truth, we cannot be happy in life.
• Our days are in God’s hands. Our gifts and abilities are on loan from Him. Our money is an “advance” from the Almighty. Only Jesus can give us an abundant life!
(2) WE ARE GIVEN WHAT WE CAN HANDLE, FOR WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT
In verse 15 we see that the master gave some talents to 3 of his servants:
“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.”
• We do not know exactly how much a talent is – it could be copper, silver or even gold. Although scholars differ on the exact amount, most agree that it was of great value. One even estimated it to be worth $300,000 in today’s currency. So the one talent did receive a lot.