Summary: The parable of the talents, ministering as given by our master

I. Introduction

A. The outline for this message came from “The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible,” by Leadership Ministries Worldwide

B. An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years and were returning to New York to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions. No one paid any attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President's entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man. As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, "Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us." "Dear, you shouldn't feel that way," his wife said. "I can't help it; it doesn't seem right." When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President's arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East Side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city. That night the man's spirit broke. He said to his wife, "I can't take this; God is not treating us fairly." His wife replied, "Why don't you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?" A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, "Dear, what happened?" " The Lord settled it with me," he said. "I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home.

C. In our Passage this morning Jesus tells the parable of the talents

1. Before we begin lets make one thing clear, Jesus is still talking about the time at the end of the tribulation period

a. Jesus is talking about and to Jews

b. That being said, the principles being outlined here apply to the church as well.

2. Jesus said that the point of this parable was twofold.

a. First, while Jesus is away, the believer is to do something: work-work faithfully and diligently.

(1) We must remember that in the church are many people who are determined to serve the Lord anyway they can

(2) And there are people in the church who will sit in the pew on Sunday, and do nothing else

b. Second, while Jesus is away, the believer is to know something: his work will be greatly rewarded or severely judged.

3. Christ was dealing with His return.

a. He went "into a far country"

b. And "after a long time, the Lord" returned

c. Christ was teaching a much needed lesson: we must be faithful and diligent.

d. If we are not, when He returns, there will be severe judgment.

4. Our passage may be broken up as follows

a. The Lord went to a far country

b. The Lord entrusted His goods to His servants

c. The servants treated the Lord's goods differently

d. The day of reckoning came

e. The reward for work well done: more work to do

f. The punishment for work not done: stripping and separation

5. Jesus is probably using money to describe what He is talking about because money is one of the most understood commodities anywhere on earth.

a. The talent spoken of is a weight not a coin.

b. The value of a talent varied as to whether it was gold, silver, or copper.

c. Christ was teaching that His followers are to be faithful and diligent in whatever He gives them, whether a gifts, abilities, responsibilities, material mercies, opportunities or blessings.

d. In other words, the responsibilities of our stewardship and the rewards of that stewardship

(1) Lets begin by turning to Matthew 25:14

II. Body

A. The Lord went to a far country

Matthew 25:14 (NKJV)

"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.

1. Christ foretold that He was like a man who was traveling to a far country, and what He foretold happened.

a. He traveled away from the earth and ascended into heaven for a specific purpose: to sit at the right hand of God.

b. He is to sit there until His servants complete the work He has given them to do.

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