Read Matthew 25 - 26
In Today's Reading:
Parables; plot to kill Jesus; Jesus anointed; Lord's Supper; Christ's agony and prayer; Judas' betrayal; Jesus' trial; Peter's denial
Jesus represented Himself in a parable by saying: The Kingdom of Heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several (own) ability; and immediately took his journey (Matthew 25:14-15). These talents did not belong to the servants, but remained the property of their master. They were to be his managers (stewards) of the goods entrusted to them. The goods of this parable represent the opportunities and abilities that God has given to us and that He expects us to use for His Kingdom.
The servant who received five talents recognized that what he had received belonged to his master. On the day of judgment he said: Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more (25:20).
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two (25:17). He was not expected to gain five since he had been given according to his own ability. Both faithfully doubled their talents and both were equally commended.
The third servant had received one talent. He put forth no effort for his master. Instead, he went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's (master's) money (25:18). His attempt at "earthly security" for himself 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 now. I'll serve the Lord at some more convenient time or after I retire."
The consequences of neglecting the opportunities to serve his master were irreversible; there was no second chance to relive his life. The master declared: Cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30; compare 8:12; 22:13; 24:51).
We can choose to ignore our opportunities to serve God, withhold our tithes, and desecrate the Lord's Day; but, without an exception, every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). 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).
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.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jim Davis (FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX), and Sen. Patty Murray (WA) · Country: Tibet (population unknown) (province of China) in eastern Asia · Major language: Tibetan · The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism, while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) · No religious statistics are available, but at one time all were Lamaists · Lamaism was all but exterminated by Chinese invaders in the 1950s, but it is now permitted under strict control · Prayer Suggestion: Ask God to show you His ways (Exodus 33:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 2:14