Summary: Does the one talent slave deserve another whipping? He did hide the master’s talent. But why did he hide it? Fear cripples. So God is going to work through the Gentiles now. Take that Pharisees.
WHIPPING THE SLAVE AGAIN
TEXT: MATTHEW 25:14-30
THEME: AN FALSE VIEW OF GOD CAUSES A LACK OF SERVICE.
Should we give the one talent slave in Matthew 25:14-30 another whipping? We can get the whip out and provide another lashing for his lack of faithful service to his master. We can beat him over and over again. We have done this in our typical lessons on this text and we have done this in our sermons on the text so we might as well beat him again for his disobedience. The text indicates that he will be eternally punished for his lack of investment so we should do likewise with this sermon. Let’s give this servant another good hide tanning. We can turn his bottom red and his back blue. Just one more time so he will never forget.
Let us read the text so we know how bad to whip him again. Matthew 25:14-30 states “"For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. "And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came^ and settled^ accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ’Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.’ The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, ’Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ’Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. ’And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ’You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. ’Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. ’Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
But does this slave deserve the punishment that he receives? Or did he have a good reason to act the way he did? Should we whip him again for his actions? He should be whipped in light of the faithfulness of the other two slaves. A rich master in first century days would typically trust his servants with certain duties to perform. It would not be uncommon for a slave to invest or spend the master’s money on household items or be in charge of the finances of the household. When a master would leave for a trip away from the home, typically the most trusted slaves would have power of attorney over the money. They had the right to handle all the assets and business of the master. This was a common practice in the first century.
Plainly the one talent slave should be beat. Especially, in comparison to the other two slaves. One slave took his five talents of wealth and used them to double the master’s money. The next slave used his two talents and produced two more because each of these slaves was faithful to the master. Even the second slave had less than half of the five talent slave but still produced a 100% return on his talents. In the text it indicates that these slaves traded. This is a continuous action which means that they did more than make one investment and then wait in the returns but rather they made various deals to double their money for the master. These slaves were obedient and did the Lord’s will. But the one slave hid his talent in the ground. He got out his shove and pickaxe and dug a hole and placed his talent into the earth for safe keeping. This was a typical activity for a first century servant. The ground was like the 21 century bank. By hiding the talent in the ground it insured that no one would steal it. This slave genuinely wants to protect this talent for his master’s return.