Summary: What Jesus reveals about the future through this parable ought to change the way you walk through this life.
In his Parable of the Talents, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the future, a glimpse at what will happen on the last day of world history and the first day of eternity. This glimpse at the first day of eternity is significant because most of the world – and many Believers too – have lost their eternal perspective on life. And when we lose our eternal perspective our priorities change; our pursuits change; we make decisions differently; and we don’t endure things that we should endure. So, what Jesus reveals through this parable ought to change the way you walk through life. Here’s why ...
I. JESUS HAS AN ASSIGNMENT FOR YOU (Matthew 25:14)
"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them (Matthew 25:14 NIV).
Jesus has given every Believer a specific kingdom focussed assignment to carry out according to their gifts, skills and abilities. There was a servant who had ten talents, a servant who had five and a servant who had one. But everyone one of them has a place in the work of Jesus’ kingdom. For us there is the work of revealing God to people; the work of helping people; and the work of leading people to Christ.
One time, Jesus was praying to his Father in heaven and he said this about his own work …
I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do (John 17:4 NLT)
So Jesus honoured God by fulfilling his specific assignment on earth. And we honour God the same way.
In the story, a talent had a monetary value (about 20 years wages) – and we are to leverage our money for the kingdom. But Jesus’ meaning here goes far wider than just money. Every one of us has been uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills and abilities and we have been given these so that we could complete our specific Kingdom assignment.
The Bible says …
God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow thorough you (1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT).
So the point here is this, the Christian life is not a sprint, it’s an endurance race. You may have started the race, and that’s fantastic but it’s not about how you start the race, it’s all about how well you run it, and how well you end the race. Jesus is coming back (i.e. The race is going to end), in the meantime he has some things for you to do. Have you understood what your assignment is?
I want to talk to you some more about that in a minute. But before I do, Jesus has more to say about what to expect when he returns. I said a minute ago that what Jesus has revealed to you through this story ought to change the way you walk through life. The first reason for you to make that change is that Jesus is telling you he has an assignment for your life. You have been uniquely shaped to fulfil that assignment. The second reason is that ...
II. JESUS WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE (Matthew 25:19)
"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them
(Matthew 25:19 NIV).
Friends, please understand, on the last day of this earth all people will be judged.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV).
You might be thinking, “But hang on. I’m a Christian. Jesus has forgiven me for my sin – I thought I had a clean slate? I thought I had escaped judgement”
If you are a Believer you do have a clean slate. But let’s get this straight. When Jesus comes back he will not be judging Christian Believers according to their sin, he will judge them according to what they have done with their lives. Judgement has already been passed on the sins of Believers. And the penalty has already been paid by Christ on the cross.
Christ died once for our sins (1 Peter 3:18 CEV)
So, if you are a Christian Believer, you will not be judged for your sins on that last day, but you will be judged according to what you have done with your life! And what will be the result of this judgement?
We see in Jesus’ story about the boss, his workers and the talents – the man with five talents put them to work and made a return of five more talents for his master. The man with two talents put them to work and made two more for his master. These men were richly rewarded. And Jesus says that he has a reward waiting for you in heaven too.