Summary: The Parable of the Talents gives us five amazing principles about being a steward.
“The Stories that Jesus Told”
Sermon # 4
“We are to be Stewards of our Resources”
The Parable of the Talents
This morning we are in a series on the parables entitled “The Stories That Jesus Told.” If I were to ask you, “What is the most well known parable?” You would probably answer, The Good Samaritan. If I were to ask you, “What parable most displays the love of the Father?” you would probably say, The Story of the Prodigal Son. If I were to ask you “What is the most terrifying of the parables?” You would probably say, The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, which we examined last week. But if were to ask, “What parable has the most to say about how we live our lives each day?” We would have to say it is the parable that we are going to examine today called “The Parable of the Talents.”
Because for the next few weeks we will be looking at stewardship related issues I feel that I should say, “When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, “Does this hurt? How about this?” If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, “We’d better do some more tests. It’s not supposed to hurt there!” So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard. Or perhaps there’s some-thing wrong. In that case, I say, “My friend, we’re in need of the Great Physician because it’s not supposed to hurt there.” [Ben Rogers - www.bible.org/illus/stewardship]
With that said, let’s turn our attention to the parable found in Matthew 25 beginning in verse fourteen. Let me speed things along by giving you a synopsis of the story before we look at it in detail. In this parable a man was going on a journey so he called his servants and divided amoung a large sum of money called talents. He gave five talents to one servant, two talents to another and one talent to yet another servant. Having distributed the talents, the master went on his journey with the expectation that his servants would be faithful while he was gone. When the master eventually returned, he called his servants to give an account of their stewardship. Two of the servants were found faithful returning double the amount that they had been given. The faithful servants were recognized and rewarded. The third servant however, had done nothing with what had been entrusted to him.
This story is addressed to us. As Christians we are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We are like these servants who are awaiting the return of their master and this story has some lessons for us about what we are to be doing in the meantime.
Today we are going to discover five amazing principles about being a steward. [Some principles drawn from Brian Bill. “Using What God Has Given” Matt 25:14-20 www.sermoncentral.com]
The First Principle of Being A Steward is to realize that, What We Have Is Not Our Own. (v. 14) "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.”
What these servants were given was not their own it still belonged to the master it is called “his goods” and considered “his property.” Their job was to manage what they were given. Likewise we must remember that everything we have belongs to God. We are told in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” And in Haggai 2:8 we find, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Everything belongs to God and until we recognize this truth we will not be good managers of what has been entrusted to us. The biblical word for our position is steward. It’s not your time, your money, or your abilities. Everything you have is on loan from God, you own nothing.
What We Have Is Not Our Own and…
The Second Principle of Being A Steward is to realize that, We Are Given All That We Can Handle (v. 15) “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.”
This parable has been confusing to many people because of the word “talents” in the King James Version. To us, the word “talent” means an ability: like a talent to sing. But in the original Greek language, the word (talenton) referred to a huge sum of money. It’s value depending on whether it was a talent of copper, silver or gold. Some commentators say a talent is 6,000 denaria; one denarius is what a man would earn in one day, so 6,000 denaria would be 20 years’ income! To put this into terms of our econ-omy, using a minimal hourly wage, a talent would be the equivalent of about $300,000.