God will judge man according to his use of his talents. The word talent means abilities, skills, intelligence, or gifts. All people have talents; some have more than others. God will judge our faithfulness in using these talents. Not all can teach Sunday school or sing in the choir. Some can clean the church; others can visit, etc. All can pray and witness for the Lord. The Bible warns us to be faithful—Rev. 2:10. Whatever you do, do it with faithfulness to God.
I. The Parable—vv. 14–18
A. Servant—v. 14. The servants met with the master before he went on a journey. They were given money for investment purposes.
B. Sharing—v. 15. The Living Bible says the shares were $5,000, $2,000, and $1,000. Others were given according to their ability.
C. Service—vv. 16–17. Some put their money into service by investing it to gain interest.
D. Shame—v. 18. The man given $1,000 hid it. Faithless and fearful, he allowed his talent to lie dormant.
II. The People—vv. 19–25
A. The return—v. 19. After a long time, the master returned and asked an accounting of the money. We are accountable to God for our lives—2 Cor. 5:10.
B. The results—vv. 20–23. Those who invested their money were praised for their faithfulness. We, too, will be judged by our faithfulness—1 Cor. 4:2.
C. Rejection—vv. 24–26. God expects us to use the talents he gives for His honor and glory.
D. God will judge Christians in their use of:
1. Time—Ps. 90:12.
2. Money—Mal. 3:8–10.
3. Abilities and skills. See Eccles. 9:10.
III. The Punishment—vv. 26–30
A. Laziness—v. 26. “But his master replied, ‘Wicked man! Lazy slave! Since you knew I would demand your profit …’ ”—LB. See also Rom. 12:11.
B. Loss—vv. 27–30. The talent was taken from the one who had wasted it and given to the one who had made the greatest increase. The unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness.
C. Lesson—God’s judgment will come to all people. See Heb. 9:27; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11–15.
At the judgment for Christians, there will be tears because the Christian was guilty of laziness and indifference. God’s people know their need for Bible reading and prayer, they know it is right to give God His tithe, they know soul-winning is their responsibility—but so many Christians do not apply this knowledge to their lives. As the result, they will stand in shame at this judgment for Christians.