The Parable about
the Talents

Matthew 25:14-30


Service Notes
Sermon by Rev. John Reinke

MATTHEW 25:14-30
    14.  The kingdom of heaven is compared like a man leaving on a trip.  The man called his servants and gave them his money for them to manage.
    15.  He gave one servant $10,000 [Greek: 5 Talents], another servant $4,000 [2 talents], and the third servant $2,000 [1 talent].  The master gave each servant enough money that the servant had skills for managing. Then the man went on his trip.
    16.  The servant with $10,000 quickly went to the stores and bought, traded, bought, traded, bought, traded, until he earned $10,000 profit.
    17.  The servant with $4,000 went and did the same thing and earned $4,000 profit.
    18.  But the third servant with $2,000 went and dug a hole and hid the money.
    19.  Later the man came home and asked the servants, "What did you do with my money?"
    20.  The servant with $10,000 came and brought $20,000.  The servant said, "Lord, you gave-me $10,000 and I went and earned a profit of $10,000 more for you."
    21.  The man said, "You did good; you are a good and faithful servant.  You showed me that I can trust you with a few things.  Now I will give you much to take-care-of.  Come and be happy with me."
    22.  Then the second servant with $4,000 came and said, "Lord, you gave-me $4,000 and I earned a profit for you.  Here is $8,000 for you."
    23.  The man said to him, "You did good.  You are a good and faithful servant.  You showed that I can trust you with a few things.  Now I will let you take-care-of many things.  Come and be happy with me."
    24.  Then the third servant came with $2,000 and said, "Lord, I knew you were a strict man.  You get food from places that don't grow food.
    25.  I was afraid, so I went and hid your $2,000 in the ground.  Here is your $2,000.
    26.  The man said, "You bad and lazy servant.  You knew that I get food from places that I don't plant-seed.
    27.  You should bring my money to the savings bank.  Then when I came home, you can give-me the $2,00 plus more interest money.
    28.  I will take-away the $2,000 from you and give it to the man with $10,000.
    29.  Because the man that uses my things wisely, to him I will give more and more.  And the servant that carelessly uses my things, I will take-away those things from him.
    30.  Throw this bad servant outside into the darkness.  Out there he will cry aloud and gnash-his-teeth."

The Greek word "talent" means two things. 
    1)Talent means a weight, about 75-lbs. 
    (2) Talent means gold or silver coins.  One talent = about $2,000.

The Master = 

The Servants = 

The Master's money = 

The Master leaves = 

The Servants invest =

The Bank =

The Master returns =

The Master's happiness =

Outer Darkness =

Application to me:

Jesus often used money to teaching spiritual truths.
How we manage our money shows
    what is really important for us.
How we manage our money shows our character.
How we manage our money shows --
    Are we wise?  Or are we foolish?
    Are we selfish?
        Or are we concerned about things
            that God thinks are important?

Often people who have good business sense
    are clueless about true wealth.

So Jesus uses business pictures
    to teach us heavenly truth.

The Master    = Christ
The Servants    = Us
The Master's $$    =  ??

The money that the master gives each servant means what?
[Welcome suggestions from the congregation. 
The following is a list offered by members of Christ/Deaf.]
The Master's $$    =  God's Word (Bible)
    Spiritual Gifts
    Time, Talents,* Treasures

All those are good answers!

Note about "Talents"
The Greek word that Matthew uses for money here is "talent."
Long ago the word "talent" meant weight, about 75-lbs.

Later, in Jesus time, they used the word "talent" as a name for money coins.  1 talent = about $2,000

So the first servant in our story got 5 talents = $10,000.
The second servant got 2 talents = $4,000.
The third servant got 1 talent = $2,000.

Today we use that word "talent"
    not for weight,
    not for money.
Today "talent" means "skill."

Yes, God gives us skills that He wants us to invest for Him.

And how do we invest all those other things on that list?

The Master leaves    = Christ ascends to heaven
The Servants invest =   ??

We can more clearly understand what "investing" means here,
when we understand what Jesus wants us to increase for Him.

Increase what?  Believers!  Christian people!

That happens when we give people God's Word.
That happens when we introduce people to Jesus,
    and tell them all that He did for them.

The Servants invest =   Tell people about Jesus

God's kingdom increases when we use our time, skills, money serving other people, so they can know Jesus, too.

Notice that in the story, the master didn't give every servant the same amount of money.

Jesus said, "The master gave each servant enough money that the servant had skills for managing."

Jesus gives us responsibilities for serving Him,
    and He gives us the ability, the skills, and the help we need
        to do our job.

One man in our story hid his master's money.
He was afraid.
He didn't want to risk losing anything.
He kept the money safe, to give back to the master later.
He didn't-care what his master wanted.
He only worried about himself.

They other two servants succeeded because they had a relationship with the master and the knew his heart.

The last servant failed because he saw his work only as a job for a tough boss. That servant didn't know the master's heart. 

What does that mean for us?

Why do we serve Christ?
    Because we must
    Or because want?

Why do we come to church?
    Because we don't-want God to punish us?
    Or because we love Him, and we enjoy being with Him?

Do we know God's heart?
    Or do we only know God's Law?

What is our life goal?
    Getting stuff for ourselves?
    Or giving other people God's love?

Do we waste God's gifts for ourselves?
    Or do we invest our lives for Him?

Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mountain:
"On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we preached for you.  We forced out demons from people in Your Name.  And we many miracles in Your Name.’   Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Go-away from me, you people doing evil. I never knew you.’ " (Matthew 7:22-23)

When the master in our story scolded the third servant,
    the master said:
"You should bring my money to the savings bank.  Then when I come home, you can give-me the $2,00 plus more interest money."

If the lazy servant won't do as his master wanted,
    he should give the money to the bank,
        and the bank will invest that money for him.

What does that mean for us?

The Bank = ?

That means we can teach other Christian people
    the skills that God gave us.
Maybe they can touch other people for Christ,
    people that we miss.

We can teach other Christian people God's Word,
    so they introduce other people to Christ
        in places that we don't go.

The Bank = Train other Christians to serve

Another way we can "invest in the bank" is support missionaries with our money.

The Bank = Train other Christians to serve
                    Support missionaries

Where we can't to do God's work,
    we can help other Christian people who will do it.

Maybe they will have more success than we.

The Master returns          = Judgment Day
The Master's happiness  = Heaven
Outside darkness            = Hell

This story does not have a happy ending,
    the same as happens for those people who reject Christ.

But that does not need to happen.
All who know Him, trust Him, and serve Him,
    they share His joy.

The work we do for Christ can't save us.
Christ already saved us. 
He already forgave us.
He comes in our hearts
    and now He does His work through us.

If God gives us small work, or big work, to do for Him,
    that doesn't-matter.
We serve Him faithfully, no-matter big or small.

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