In this parable the Lord is going to use one of the things that is most valued to men…”money”…to contrast man’s values to God’s values. A “talent” was the heaviest weight among the people of that time. The value of one “talent” in today’s economy would be worth more than one million dollars. However, the talent speaks to more than money, it is a reference to all that God has given to us to serve and worship Him. This parable is a clear representation of the Church Age, the time between the nobleman’s departure (Christ’s ascension) and His return at the Rapture. In this age God has endowed every believer with time and talents to be used for His purpose. John Phillips says it represents today; one, the days of our responsibility in service and, secondly, the day of our reckoning at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The way we use our gifts will determine our position of service in the Millennial Kingdom. We should pause and reevaluate how we are using the gifts God has bestowed upon us. Which of the following three words describes your use of what God has given to you: minimal, mediocre, or maximum. We are all given but one life to serve God and then the Lord will call us home (25:19) and to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ where, not our sins will be judged, but our works (II Cor. 5:10; Rom. 10:14; I Cor. 3:11-15). This judgment reveals two types of servants: the faithful and the unfaithful. In our text of Matthew 25 we see that the first two servants were commended as faithful and was rewarded by being made rulers over many things. This reward includes a crown (II Tim. 4:8), a throne (Rev. 3:21), and a kingdom (Matt. 25:34). May we never forget the words and promise of Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.” What we gain in the Church age, we will enjoy in the Kingdom Age. 1 Last of all we see the unfaithful servant. This individual, like the first two, was a child of God; but unlike the first two, he was unfaithful in his stewardship. The word “servant” is the Greek word “doulos”, which means “slave”. Thus, as a slave during this time, they had no rights only responsibilities. This is the word that Paul used repeatedly to describe himself. The main reason why Christians today do not serve God with their time, talent, and treasures is because they do not see themselves as a “doulos”, but as an owner. Only owners have rights, stewards have responsibilities, and there is only one owner, God (Psa. 24:1; I Cor. 10:26). All three were judged by the talents and obedience that God had given to them and so will we be.
The parable closes with what seems to be a contradictory statement in verse 30. What this verse is speaking of is this servant had a saved soul but a wasted life.2 God took this unfaithful servant to the place of outer darkness, not to suffer but to see what they could have done to help men and women escape the torment, but he did not. Here the unfaithful servant saw the souls they might have reached, but rather they denied God the use of their talent. May we determine to honor God with our time and talents to be used to rescue souls from an eternal burning hell. Decide today to be a good servant.
1Exploring Matthew, John Philips, pg. 467.
2Ibid, pg. 468.