Summary: Jesus told this parable to remind us that what we have is not ours. God has given us gifts and they are what we can handle. We must invest and use them. A day of accountability will come.
1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
It is not too difficult to identify the talents we have.
• Some are good at music, some good at drawing, cooking, writing…
• After a short period of time, we can tell more-or-less what we are good at.
• Our problem is not in identifying the talent, but in using it.
• Most of the time, we are not using what we have been given.
In this parable, Jesus wants to remind us of the need to use what God has given us.
This parable was given in the middle of a long teaching session Jesus gave to His disciples. It started from the beginning of chapter 24.
• Jesus was responding to His disciples’ question in 24:3.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus warns them to be on guard so that no one will deceive them and helps them understand that after He leaves, He will come again.
• He urges them in the 2nd part of chapter 24 to be ready because He will come at an hour when He is least expected.
• In chapter 25, Jesus compares His coming to the eastern custom of a bridegroom arriving in the middle of the night.
• He concludes by saying in 25:13: “Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
And in 25:14 Jesus starts off with another parable (which is the text we read): “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey…”
• The word “again” 又好比indicates that Jesus is using yet one more parable to talk about His second coming.
• The man going on a “journey” is Jesus and He will return one day.
A few things Jesus wants us to learn from this parable.
1. What We Have Is Not Ours
Verse 14 says that this man who was getting ready for a journey “…called his servants and entrusted His property to them.”
• It was common then for wealthy men to take long journeys.
• Before they would leave, they would arrange to have someone pick up their mail and feed their pets.
• But even more than that, they would often delegate the management of their wealth to trustworthy employees.
• They were expected to bring a return on what had been handed over to them.
• Given the uncertainties of transportation in those days, the Master would not be able to tell them the precise time of his return.
There was no doubt in the minds of these servants that the property and money still belonged to the master.
• They were the possessors, but not the owners. Their job was to manage what they were given.
Likewise, we must remember that everything we have has been given to us and is not really ours anyway.
• Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
• Haggai 2:8 adds, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the LORD Almighty.”
• He has the rights, and I have the responsibility. He is the Master and I am the manager. I am the servant; He is the sovereign Lord.
We may know it, but we need to be reminded again and again.
• You don’t really own anything. Everything belongs to the Lord.
• Until we recognize this truth, we will not be good stewards of what has been entrusted to us.
• Our days are in His hands. Our gifts and abilities are on loan from Him.
• Frankly, we really don’t own anything. We will one day leave everything behind.
2. We Are Given What We Can Handle
In verse 15 we see that the master gave some talents to three 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.”
Each servant received talents “according to his ability.”
• Your responsibility is tied to your ability.
• This is very interesting. God’s Kingdom does not operate according to what is ‘fair’ – that is, every one getting the same.
• When God gives us the gifts, 1 Cor 12:11 says “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.”
Once in the church in Corinth, the believers were taking sides over two different leaders. Some says, “I follow Paul,” and another group says, “I follow Apollos.”