(Today's post by Wayne Bunting)
In Matthew 25:14-46 a few parables are given that bear great weight on the significance of judgment day, which the whole world will one day face. In verses 14-30 Jesus makes a heavy reference to the life of the church. He continues this within the context of His description of the kingdom of Heaven in the previous parable. However, it is important to note that this entire section is an answer to the disciples’ question in 24:3 regarding what His second coming would look like, where, ironically, they are sitting on the mount of olives, the same place where it is said that Jesus will one day return.
Jesus’ use of “a man going on a journey” in 25:14 combined with “after a long time” in verse 19 gives rise to the idea that the master mentioned is tarrying for awhile, until a certain time when he will return (sound familiar?). Before the master leaves on his journey he gives different amounts of talents to different servants “according to his ability.” Certainly this is a reference to the gifts that Jesus gives to the church; gifts that He gives through the Holy Spirit now that He has gone and the Holy Spirit has come. But one thing that seems odd is that the one servant who buried his talent (Verse 18) was referred to as a “wicked servant” (Verse 26) who is to be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Verse 30).
The idea of performing actions for the master is strong in this section. I think that what is being asserted here is that the one who is a true servant of Christ will desire to use their talents for the Lord. The one who is not a servant of the Lord will not bear fruit.This idea is furthered in verses 31-46 where those who are the true followers of God (sheep) enter Heaven, and those who are not (goats) enter Hell.
Jeremiah sought to bury his prophetic talent because he faced so much persecution and hardship on account of it. He even stated that he felt that God was pursuing Him like an adversary. But ultimately, Jeremiah said that he cannot keep quiet; he could not bury his talent. Instead he cried out:
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9).
Many times in our lives we face hardship and persecution. But the standard is just the same: our talents were given to us for a reason, and that reason was to glorify God.
The moral of the story is that one day we will all stand before God and our life on earth will be judged. All that we do is in accordance with this judgment. Salvation and the works of the Christian on earth will be evaluated. In light of this we should remember that it is absolutely imperative for us to use what God has given us to further His kingdom while we have the time to do so. This is not to say that we earn God’s merit, but that we should want to further God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is evidenced by those who multiply the talents that the Lord gave them. We should echo Jeremiah who through his struggles chose to do what God had put him here for. How many talents do you think he multiplied in the end?
How many talents are we multiplying in our lives? In the end this is all that really matters.