Sunday, 24 July 2022

The Parable Of The Talents

The Parable Of The Talents

(A Teaching On Redeeming The Time)

Matthew 25:14-30

“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. 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.  Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.  And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.  But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.  After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’  He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’  “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.  ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
"Oh what a striking parable, a scene with strong intention.
A tale to make us sit up straight and really pay attention!
The picture painted clearly, the message very plain;
A lesson taught on faithfulness and not financial gain.

A master with three servants, tests them at their core;
To some he gives a little, to others he gives more.
Gifting each accordingly, knowing what is fair.
Placing them as stewards over that within their care.

The wise and faithful servants get to work without delay,
Utilising all at their disposal right away.
Yet here we see the lazy man puts nothing to good use,
Wasting what is precious and giving his excuse.

This story clearly showing that no matter the amount,
It’s how each gift has been employed for which we give account.
Oh let’s consider daily what’s been given by our Lord,
Loyal application is what Jesus will reward!

This parable inspires us to use our gifts divine.
Oh Christian, we are saved by grace but must redeem the time!
Be faithful in His service, whatever be your story.
Let’s multiply our talents for our Great Redeemer’s glory!"

Matthew 9:36-38
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”"

1 Corinthians 12:4-7
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.   But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”

Ephesians 5:15-16
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Points For Reflection And Insight
I find this section so inspiring and the Lord has used this particular passage of Scripture many times to encourage me when it comes to sharing my poems. Often in the past, I’ve heard that niggling voice of doubt in my head, discouraging me and making me feel unsure about whether to share a poem or not.

It’s during these moments of uncertainty that the Holy Spirit has stepped in and led me to the parable of the talents. My purpose for writing my poems is to share Jesus with both believers and non-believers alike. This is why I feel that the Holy Spirit reminds me that if my poems are sitting in my laptop, unread and unheard by others, then they won’t reach anyone at all. These verses have really encouraged me over the years to use what God has given to me and not to “burying my talents.”

It’s interesting to note that the talents referred to in this passage aren’t an ability, although the message can be applied to ability. A talent isn’t a coin either but rather it’s a weight of value, the value changing depending on whether it’s made of gold, silver or bronze.
The picture created in these verses is that the talent is something of great worth, gifted by the master to the servants. It’s then how the servants recognise their assignment and use this responsibility that’s important.
It could be said that the best application of this parable is to see these talents as life resources such as time, money, abilities and authority.

It certainly seems that the message of this parable picks up the question asked through the earlier parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The topic being end times and our “readiness” for Christ’s return and so the question being, “What is readiness?”

We learn from the parable of the talents that our “readiness” for Jesus’ return is determined by our stewardship of the resources He has given to us.
It doesn’t have to be viewed as a mystical or cryptic thing, it’s simply a case of using what has been made available to us by the Lord and being about our Father’s business as we wait for Christ’s return.

Looking at how these two parables work together in Matthew 25, we see some very important points for consideration. Firstly, through the parable of the virgins, we are to make sure that we are in fact God’s children. Secondly, through the parable of the talents, we are to make sure we are about God’s business and redeeming the time that we have here on Earth.

As we know, it’s not a case of “working for our salvation” as we are saved by God’s grace and nothing else. The Bible tells us that no one can earn their way to Heaven or gain salvation through “good works,” so this isn’t the message being conveyed in these verses at all. Rather, it’s a message of encouragement to redeem the time and be a good steward over the gifts God has given to us personally.

Now is probably a good moment to ask ourselves, what am I doing with my gifts? For example, what am I doing with my knowledge, my time, my money and my abilities? Have I been seeking to use my life for God’s glory or have I been more taken up with personal pursuits that take me away from the things of God?
Have I been using my particular gifts to encourage others and bring the soul saving Gospel of Jesus to the unsaved or have I been “burying my talents” and wasting what God has committed to me?
Has fear of failure been holding me back from using my gifts? Do I fear failure more than I fear God?

These are challenging questions and the answers are between ourselves and Jesus. As sobering as this parable may be, ultimately it’s an encouraging reminder to use our gifts and skills faithfully for His service. As we see from this parable, it’s not results God measures and rewards, it’s our faithfulness in our service to Him.

As Charles Spurgeon once said on this topic,
“Remember, my hearer, that in the day of judgement thy account must be personal; God will not ask you what your church did- He will ask you what you did yourself.”

Each one of us has received something of worth from the Lord to be used for His glory and one day we will give an account for how we used what was given. Each day that we live and breathe those talents are either being used for something positive and profitable or they’re not. Let us not be like the lazy servant who buried the things of value entrusted to him and had nothing to offer but excuses. Rather, let us be like the wise servants and not waste a moment of time! May we commit to God what has been given to us, no matter how small it may seem and use it for the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom!