Matthew 25:14-29

INTRODUCTION: It is sad when someone who is obviously talented at what they do is not able to live up to that ability. My favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, has someone pitching for them who seems to be living up to
that tag. His name is John Rocker. He is obviously very talented at playing baseball. Just ask all the batters that he struck out last year. But for better or worse, John has two problems. He has a big mouth. And he has a bad temper. The big mouth came play when he said some things that got lots of people angry over the Winter and got John a suspension this Spring. His temper flared recently when he could not throw strikes.

Who knows what John's future will be. He is still very young and hopefully will experience some "attitude modifications" and go on to a great career. But Christians often are like John. They have been given talents and for some reason or other never use them to the glory of God.


A. God has bought us out of a life of sin. We belong to Him.
1. 1 Peter 1:18_19_ "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless
conduct received by tradition from your fathers, {19} but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

2. 1 Corinthians 6:19_20_ "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? {20} For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

3. Revelation 5:9_ "And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,"

B. We are God's bond-servants.
1. Romans 6:16_18_ "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? {17} But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. {18} And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." 
C. God has entrusted us with various gifts, or abilities, that He expects us to use to His glory.
1. 1 Corinthians 12:4_7_ "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. {5} There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. {6} And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. {7} But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:"

2. Ephesians 4:11_13_ " And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, {12} for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, {13} till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ; 

a. Please note: This certainly has reference to at least some miraculous gifts and temporary gifts. But the principle is the same. God gives to various Christians various gifts to use to His glory.
D. We are stewards, given the responsibility to wisely use God's wealth given to our care.
1. Luke 12:42_43_ " And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? {43} "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

2. Titus 1:7_ " For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self_willed, not quick_tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

3. 1 Peter 4:10_ " As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

4. 1 Corinthians 3:2_ " I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

A. The context in which it is given.
1. Jesus has just given the great Olivet discourse, which deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world.

2. Jesus follows up with the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). In it he warns about the foolishness of not being prepared for His return.

3. After he finishes the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) he brings chapters 24 and 25 to a fitting conclusion with the a view of the Final Judgement (Matthew 25:31-46). He warns Christians to be concerned about what many would consider small things and says that there will be those on that day who are lost, even though they preached and taught "in his name."

B. What the Parable of the Talents says.
1. The Participants
a. A Man traveling to a far country - The Lord Jesus Christ who was to return to Heaven. He was departing to prepare a place for his disciples (John 14:1-4).

b. The servants - They are Christians who are servants of Jesus and left behind to do his work till he returns.

2. The trust given
a. Each servant was entrusted with a considerable amount of wealth.

b. It was in relation to their differing abilities. One was given five talents, one two, and one was given one.

3. The Master's journey
a. The Master went away and left his disciples to carry on his work. (Ephesians 4:10)

b. Two of the servants labor and bring forth an increase based on their ability. One is fearful and hides his talents.

4. The Reckoning
a. The Master returns and calls for an accounting. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

b. He blesses both the five and two talent man for being faithful "over a few things." (Ephesians 2:7-9)

c. He deals harshly with the one talent man. His excuse is called wicked and lazy. He is cast out into "outer darkness." (Matthew 25:46)


A. Every Christian is entrusted by God with certain abilities to be used in His service.
1. Notice that each of these were given what amounted to be a great deal of money.

2. While it is impossible to know for sure, it is likely that the talent was either gold or silver, either of which would represent a great deal of wealth.

3. It is obvious that the talent here represents whatever God has given us to help the body of Christ to function and grow. It would certainly include wealth, but as certainly cannot be limited to just wealth!

4. Romans 12:6 - "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;"

5. 1 Corinthians 12:4 - "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit."

6. Our life no longer belongs to us. Whatever God has given us, we are responsible to use to the best of our ability to His glory. And God has given ability to all His children!

B. Each Christian will be judged, based on our own use of God's gifts, not what we do not have.
1. 2 Corinthians 8:12 - "For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

2. The Word is clear. There is a law of sowing and reaping! We do not have to reap the spiritual harvest for others. We are responsible for ourselves.

a. Galatians 6:7_8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
C. Each Christian will be called on to give an account for his/her life.
1. Each of the three servants were called before their Master for the day of reckoning.

2. Romans 14:10_12 "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."

D. When compared with the great blessings God has promised us, our effort are small indeed!
1. Notice the statement by the Lord, "you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many."

2. While God requires faithfulness, we need to remember that it is God who has poured out His blessings on us! He simply requires faithfulness.

a. Titus 3:5_7 "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
E. A place of eternal punishment is reserved for the unprofitable servant!
1. Verse 30 - "And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
a. Matthew 13:41_42 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
2. And we need to remember that all we need to do to go to eternal punishment is NOTHING AT ALL!
a. James 4:17 - "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

CONCLUSION: Our Lord has entrusted us with His work and given each of us all the talents we need to do His work. When Jesus returns he will judge us based on our faithfulness in using what God has entrusted with us.

Copyright 2000 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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