Read Matthew 25 -- 26
In Today’s Reading:
Parable of the 10 virgins; parable of talents; the judgment of the nations; the plot to kill Jesus; Jesus anointed at Bethany; Lord's Supper; Christ's agony and prayer; Judas' betrayal; Jesus on trial; Peter's denial.
Before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus represented Himself in a parable saying: The Kingdom of Heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And [to] one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several abilities; and straightway took his journey (Matthew 25:14-15). In this parable, his own servants are represented in three groups who are responsible for his goods. It did not belong to them, but remained the property of the master; they were to be his managers (stewards). These goods represent the opportunities and abilities that God expects us to use for His best interest.
The servant who received five talents recognized that what he had received belonged to his master, for on the day of judgment he said: Lord, [you delivered] unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more (25:20). This is a reminder that [to whom] much is given, of him shall much be required (Luke 12:48).
Likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two (Matthew 25:17). He was not expected to gain five since he had been given less than the first servant. Both doubled their talents, and both were equally commended. But no one is forced to be a servant. God gave us a free will. We can choose to ignore our opportunities to serve the Lord, withhold our tithes, and desecrate the Lord's day. But we do have the privilege of expressing our love and gratitude to Him by being His faithful servant. But, without an exception, everyone must give an account: [You] are not your own for [you] are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
The third servant received one talent. He too put forth effort, but not for his master. Instead, he . . . went and [dug] in the earth, and hid his lord’s money (Matthew 25:18).
The one who received just one talent did not use the talent entrusted to him. He did not allow his master to be lord over his affairs. His effort for "earthly security" was inexcusable. He tried to excuse himself like the person today who shows great diligence working in the secular world, but says: "I'm too busy with selfish opportunities. I'll serve the Lord at some more convenient time, or after I retire." The lord exposed the one-talent servant as a wicked and slothful servant (25:26).
All who refuse to recognize that their time, wealth, and talent are gifts entrusted to them by their Creator-God must one day give an account.
The consequences of neglecting the opportunities to serve his master were irreversible -- no second chance to relive his life. The master declared: Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30; comp. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51).
Thought for Today: Christian growth is evident as we help others discover spiritual values.
25:27 exchangers = bankers, moneylenders; 25:27 usury = interest on money lent; 26:15 covenanted = agreed on; 26:47 staves = clubs; 26:63 I adjure thee = I charge you under oath before God.
For Matthew 26:31: See Zech. 13:7. Matt. 26:64: See Psa. 110:1; Dan. 7:13.
Government Officials: Rep. Jim Davis (FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX), and Sen. Patty Murray (WA) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and local dialects · Religious freedom · 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:21