Summary: We should know the importance of trusting God and being faithful to Him in all situations. We should not be afaid when we are given opporutnities to serve Him.
A church member was angry and complained to the Pastor that the church had wastefully purchased five new brooms. He felt the expenditure was unnecessary. The Pastor mentioned it to the church administrator who responded; “No wonder he was upset. How would you feel if you saw everything you gave in the past year tied up in five brooms?”
God certainly doesn’t need our money or our abilities to do His work, He wants our hearts, thankful hearts that know we can never out give Him.
Jesus’ Parable of the Talents is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 14-30. It is only written in Matthew’s Gospel and it is an important teaching. There is actually a grouping of three parables in this section of Matthew. Let’s set the stage. First, as a review, who was Matthew? He is the God inspired, Jewish author of the Gospel that bears his name. He wrote this most likely only twenty or thirty years after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Nowhere in the four Gospels do we find a single recorded word that Matthew spoke; he did not write about himself, he wrote about the life of Jesus. We know very little about Matthew – the only thing we know for sure is he was a humble man who kept himself almost completely in the background throughout the life of Jesus and His ministry. Matthew was a tax collector – a publican! That is the last credential we might expect to see from a man who would become an apostle of Christ, a top leader in the church and a preacher of the Gospel. Tax collectors were the most despised people in Israel. They were men who had brought tax franchises from the Roman emperor, and then extorted money from the people of Israel to feed the Roman coffers and to pad their own pockets. When Jesus found him, Matthew dropped everything and followed Him. He became a man of quiet humility who loved outcasts and gave no place to religious hypocrisy – a man of great faith. He stands as a reminder that the Lord often chooses the most despicable people, redeems them, gives them new hearts and uses them in powerful ways.
Matthew’s Gospel is the bridge that leads us out of the Old Testament and into the New Testament. Not many people have studied what took place after the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi and the first Gospel of the New Testament, Matthew. It is very interesting time period and we’ll be studying just that in our Bible Study in awhile. It was known as the Intertestamental Period and it covered 400 silent years. Matthew’s Gospel is the bridge. He introduced a new King, Jesus, and He introduced a new people, the church.
Back to the Parable of the Talents: Matthew records this at the very end of Jesus’ life. Jesus had already made His triumphal, final entry into Jerusalem. He had already had conflicts with the hypocritical religious rulers, the Pharisees and Sadducees. He had already given us His greatest commandment, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus was preparing to be betrayed, arrested and crucified in a matter of hours, looking ahead to His glorious resurrection to fulfill His purpose here on earth.
This parable encourages us to be faithful in all aspects of our lives until Jesus returns again. We should be watching, witnessing and working. In doing so, we may not be successful or popular in the eyes of those around us, but if we are faithful we will be richly blessed and rewarded by God.
The Parable of the Talents – 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. 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. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 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.’ 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.’ 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.’ 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.’