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Parable of the Talents (Sermon)

Parable of the Talents (Sermon)

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Published by tsupasat
An expository sermon on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
An expository sermon on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

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Published by: tsupasat on Sep 18, 2009
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11/16/2012

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The Parable of the Talents—Faithfulness
Today, I would like to talk about a very famous parable: The Parable of theTalents. Talents are a measure of gold worth more than a thousand dollars.When Jesus told this parable, He was telling the disciples what it would be likewhen He came back to judge the world. He told them that no one could know the exacttime He would return, but that we should
always
be ready. He told them the parable of the Ten Virgins, where five wise virgins kept prepared for the coming of the bridegroom,while the five foolish virgins didn’t prepare and weren’t ready for the bridegroom’scoming. The theme here is that we need to always be ready to meet our Maker. Your stayhere is temporary, and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.Who here is concerned about eternity? Some people are concerned, and somesimply don’t care. Some Christians are concerned, and some Christians act as though theydon’t care. Many people who are not Christian are concerned when they think about it, but don’t know what to do. They may think they need to do good things in order to getinto heaven—in case there is a heaven.So, who here is concerned about eternity? I tell you the same thing Jesus did inthese parables: Please, please be thinking about eternity. That was His message. We needto be thinking about eternity when we are here on earth. We need to be faithful.
Matthew 25:14-30
 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servantsand entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, toanother two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Thenhe went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at onceand put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the twotalents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off,dug a hole in the ground and hid his masters money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other  five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained fivemore.’  His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and  share in your master’s happiness!’ The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’  His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and  share in your master’s happiness!’ Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’  His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you
 
 should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and  gnashing of teeth.’ 
This is a very difficult parable to read, especially when it comes from Jesus! Sowhat did Jesus mean when He told this parable?It doesn’t help that this parable has a misleading name. “The Parable of theTalents” puts the emphasis on the talents, or a quantitative aspect. However, I think thereal emphasis should be on the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the servants! The parableshould be called, “The Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants.” This puts theemphasis not on the quantity of money they produced, but on the quality of their attitude.Many times, when we read this parable, we might feel like God is verydemanding. We might think God will punish us if we don’t produce some obvious results.However, I want to remind you the reason the faithful servants were rewarded was because they were faithful, not because they produced a certain amount. And the reasonthe unfaithful servant was punished was because he was negligent and unfaithful, not because he didn’t produce obvious results.So, remember, Jesus is looking for quality, not quantity. God doesn’t just wantyou to do so-called good things, but He wants you to have a heart that loves Him. Jesussaid, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and wewill come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obeymy teaching.” (John 14:23-24)So if we want to produce the good works that God desires, we need to love Him.But more than that, we need to make sure we allow the Holy Spirit to lead our lives, andnot be led by our flesh.There are three main components to this parable; three things that we need toconsider.
1. The master who distributes the talentsv14-15
 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 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.
The master in this parable is wise and just. His servants have nothing except whatis given them. It is their duty to do whatever he wants, and their lives are in his hands.But he doesn’t require anything beyond their abilities. Instead, he wisely gives each onetalents according to his ability.In the same way, we cannot demand anything from God. God is totally good, andhis standard is perfection. If we live like Mother Theresa, we still fall short of God’sstandard. Yet, God gives us grace. Without His grace, we cannot please Him. But Godgives us grace so that we can do good works. And we cannot complain that God demandsmore from us than we are capable of doing.
 
What are the talents that God has given us? They are the opportunities we have toserve Him as a servant. It is our opportunity to become a slave to righteousness, insteadof a slave to sin.We need to understand what it means to be a slave to righteousness before we canreally understand this parable. A slave to righteousness means you accept Jesus Christ as both your Master and also your Savior—that He died to pay the penalty for your sin.Therefore, whatever good works you do, they are for your benefit. The end result is thegift of eternal life, bought by Jesus.The other option is to be a slave to sin, which is what all of us are without Jesus.Without Jesus to redeem us, it is impossible for us to escape sin. Sin becomes our master.When we are without Jesus, everything we do is without grace and tainted with sin— even the things we do with good intentions are not acceptable to God.We need to accept Jesus as our Lord in order to serve Him as a slave. Only oncewe are slaves to righteousness can we do good in God’s sight.
2. The faithful servantsv16-17
The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money towork and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
The second thing we need to notice in this parable is the faithfulness of the goodservants. Jesus says these servants went at once and put their master’s money to work.They didn’t waste any time in obeying their master, and they continued working a longtime until their master returned.So, the big question here is what does it mean when these servants gained fivemore or two more? What does this mean we should do? Is it only doing good things? Idon’t think it is simply doing good works. Remember, this parable is about the quality of faithfulness, not about the quantity of the result.What we need to focus on is the attitude of the faithful servants, and then we cansee the result of that attitude:
Their attitude made them obey their master immediately and persevere even whenthey didn’t see him around. In the same way, we need faith to obey an unseenGod. These servants in Jesus’ parable obeyed faithfully, even when their master was not around. In our lives, it is very easy to just slip back and ignore God. It isvery hard sometimes to keep going when we don’t know when we will be calledto account. Really, can we all say that we are living as though Jesus were coming back tomorrow? And how would that affect how you live your life? Are you afaithful servant and a wise virgin?
These servants did realize a big return on their efforts. When we obey God, our efforts will produce spiritual fruit, if not the fruit that we can see. Remember thefocus is not on the quantitative aspect, but on quality. That is why Galatians 5 saysthe fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are fruit, but they are qualitative,not quantitative. And remember Matthew 6 where Jesus responded to those whosaid they prophesied and drove out demons in His name: “Away from me, youevildoers, I never knew you!” Jesus said those people did evil!
Their reward. These servants received praise and reward from God. One thing thatreally keeps me going is to remember that God is totally and completely just.There is nothing you lose in this world for the sake of God that you will not

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