Summary: What are we doing with what god has given us?
INTRO: Movie – Papillion Story (prison delusions, court guilty of the worst crime) (crime: wasted life!)
D.L. Moody once said, “The measure of a man is not how many servants he has, but how many
men he serves.”
TITLE: Talent Used or Wasted
TEXT: Matt. 25:14-15 (READ)
I. The Talent Entrusted
Jesus gives this parable preparing the disciples for the things that will shortly happen.
A. Journey – master traveling into a far country.
1. Calls his servants (GK: called his bond servants).
-Bond servant: some who especially belong to the master (special servant).
Like Christians-followers of Christ.
2. Entrusted property to them believing they would do a good job.
Ex. Tammy leaving “do I get to baby-sit yet.”
Point: He was entrusting his property to them.
B. Variety of Talents
1. Master delegated out what he thought they could handle.
-Like God delegating out talents for us. Eph. 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ
Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
a. Distribution: One he gave five talents of money.
One he gave two talents of money.
One he gave one talent of money.
-Talent was a medium of exchange in NT times (gold, silver, copper). Price depended on what
type of metal used. Considered a lot of money.
b. Question fairness – rational minds.
1. Human nature causes us to compare (me having a Steve Green voice) How come God?
-Equal share still could complain (why didn’t I get more?) How come God?
Complain mentality – Paul sums up.
Romans 9:20-21 “But who are you O man, to walk back to god? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use.”
POINT: Instead of questioning God, learn the gift He has given and use it to the fullest.
c. Lord gave each to his own ability.
-God will not give you beyond what you can bear (trials, talents, wealth).
II. The Servant’s conduct – Matt. 25:16-18 (READ)
A. Diligent servant – went at once (immediately).
-Nice to know that the person you entrust thing to will take care and do a good job.
Ex. 60 minutes (NY janitors)
1. Five talents: immediately goes to work and gains five more – 100% increase.
2. Two talents: immediately goes to work and gains two more – 100% increase.
-Interesting that it was a 100% increase. They gave it their all (100% effort).
-They gave their master 100% effort and the fruits followed.
*Side note: Do not make the mistake of judging success by worldly standards.
Ex. In churches people make a mistake if a church is not growing that there must be something wrong (not necessarily true). Don’t judge success by growth. *Missionaries to China and Africa spent their whole lives over there and only have a few converts. Jeremiah spent whole life trying to bring SK to repent. But he didn’t succeed. (Did he fail? No) Obedience is the key!
*What happens – seen people judge the things of God by worldly standards and get frustrated and upset (right where the devil wants you).
I Cor. 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos water it, but God made it grow.” God makes the increase. Success is defined as being obedient to God.
B. Third Servant – dug a hole and hid it (eastern practice)
1. Possible reasons: Small gift (compared to the others no significance – after all the master is very
-One of the enemy’s traps (feel your talents are of little importance so you don’t bother using them).
-After all, can’t sing like Sandy McConn.
-Play the piano like Debbie Woodruff.
-Lead worship like Nancy Wright.
-Preach like Pastor Woodruff.
-Not as good looking as Chad Spinler.
-Not as athletic as Pastor Mark.
-Can’t run as fast as Shannon McCauley.
-House is not as big as the Jones.
*This does not matter. You need to be obedient with what the Lord has given you.
2. Another possible reason: servant put talent into ground and did nothing with it.
a. Fear of the master (holds you back from doing things).
1. Example that comes to mind is the story of David and Goliath – I Samuel 17.
-Background: Philistines and Israel are enemies, always warring with each other.
-About to war again (each on their own hill).
a. Surprise weapon – v. 8 (challenge by a giant) tries to divide ranks.
Calls them servants or slaves of Saul.
b. Instructions (v.9) one-on-one combat (not normal practice).
*Ever gotten into a struggle and gotten tricked or placed into a corner?
Ex. Baseball deek (acted like he could not throw hard)