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Summary: In the parable of the buried talent, we learn that God has called us to be good stewards and faithful servants with our time, our talents, and our treasure.

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THE STORYTELLER: THE PARABLES OF JESUS #5: THE BURIED TALENT

INTRO TO TOPIC: Jesus is the World’s Greatest Storyteller.

• 1/3 of Jesus’ teaching – Parables. Parable: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

AN EXAMPLE:

“44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matt. 13:44-46, NKJV).

• DISCUSS: What do you think the treasure and the pearl of great price represent? (Jesus!).

• PERSONAL TESTIMONY: How my life changed when I met Jesus 25 years ago!!

• God’s Promise: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13, NKJV).

THE BIG IDEA: In the parable of the buried talent, we learn that God has called us to be good stewards and faithful servants with our time, our talents, and our treasure.

• How many of you would like to hear Jesus speak the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you get to Heaven? That’s what this parable is about!

1. THE MAN ON A JOURNEY:

“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.” (Matt. 25:14-15).

• In every one of Jesus’ parables, look for two characters: God, and us. The man = God.

• Stewardship Principle #1: What we have is not ours. We are only stewards.

• Stewardship Principle #2: We are given what we can handle. Our job is to be faithful.

2. THE REWARDS FOR THE TWO FAITHFUL SERVANTS:

“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.” (Matt. 25:16-19).

• Stewardship Principle #3: A day of accountability is coming.

Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

“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.'” (Matt. 25:20-25).

• Stewardship Principle #4: What we do with what we have reveals our view of God.

• The first two servants focused on the Lord, saw Him as good, and wanted to please Him.

• The third servant started with himself: “I knew” and saw him as a hard man.

• QUOTE: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” (AW Tozer).

• The third servant let fear hold him back from doing something for his Lord.

• QUOTE: “A mistake proves someone stopped talking long enough to do something!”

WHAT WERE THE REWARDS FOR THE TWO FAITHFUL SERVANTS?

• Affirmation: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

• Promotion: “You have been faithful over a few, I will make you ruler over many.”

• Celebration: “Enter into the joy of your lord!”

3. THE WICKED, LAZY, AND UNPROFITABLE SERVANT:

“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 Therefore 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.'” (Matt. 25:26-30).

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