Faithlife Sermons

To Each According To His Ability

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Jesus tells a parable that is durring an extended teaching on the end times. Here Jesus, through parable, indicates that we have a responsability to utilize the gifts God has given us for the building of the Kingdom. To do otherwise is offensive to the King.

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Context

Jesus is in the midst of an extended teaching on the end times
The disciples asked him what will be the signs of the end times, his coming, and when these things would take place
We have spent a considerable amount of time looking at what Jesus taught
Most recently he compared the end times to that of 10 virgins that were waiting for the bridegroom
5 were ready, 5 were not
That parable highlighted the importance of being prepared
In our scripture today, Jesus gives one more parable that will highlight how we are supposed to live in light of these truths
Not how we are to behave, but how we are to utilize our God given gifts and abilities
First lets look at and under stand the parable the way Jesus’ hearers would have

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

It was not uncommon for wealthy people to travel for extended periods of time and entrust their estate to their slaves.
A Talent was more of a measurement of weight not a currency; so it is difficult to guess how much money we are talking, but we know it was significant
Notice the master gives each according to his ability; this is a foreshadowing of what is about to come.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

The two that risked recieved reward.
The reward was to enter into the Master’s Joy.
This could be a referencing to some type of banquet or an idiom indicating being on the master’s good side.

24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

The servant saying I knew you were a hard man seems to undermine his excuse for not growing the investment.
If he knew that, he should have been more deliberate in making sure he grew the investment.
This servant is also presumptuous in assuming his master reaped what he did not sow;
who made the initial investment?
Where did that ability to invest come from?
Most likely the master’s hard work.

28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

In a church mission context; failing to grow what God has entrusted the Church with will lead to weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Readiness Demands Faithfulness

Remember Jesus’ last two parables were highlighting the importance of being prepared
This parable demonstrates what that is like
As a church this means
Corporately ascribing worth to the creator and sustainer of everything; also known as worship
Singing God praises
Rightly dividing God’s Word
Teaching and growing as a Christian body
Receiving and the lost and leading them to salvation
Receiving the broken and pointing them to the one who heals
Expanding the kingdom
As an individual this means
Using the gifts God has given you to bring him glory
To build His Kingdom
Make no mistake you have been gifted for this purpose
This is unbelievable for some but the bible is clear that we are all gifted for this purpose
This is a hard concept for some
Some of us don’t believe we have anything to bring to the table for this purpose
You do
Some of us have a hard time recognizing what exactly we have that we can utilize to advance God’s kingdom
This is because the gift comes so naturally that we don’t recognize it as a gift
For example:
God didn’t make you super comfortable around strangers just so you wouldn’t be lonely
He made you that way so you would tell people about him
God didn’t make you super smart so you could impress your friends at trivia
He made you that way so you could defend the faith
God didn’t make you good with numbers so you could make a corporation lots of money
He made you that way so you could account for his flock
God didn’t make you physically strong so you could win in athletic competitions
He made you that way so you could withstand the pressures of this world
What is your gifts?
Have you ever taken an account of them?
This usually takes wise council from someone that knows you well
At some point today; ask the person you are here with what your gifts are
Then listen; even if that’s not how God has gifted you
How are you using that gift for God’s glory?
If you can’t quickly answer that question, I want you to reflect on how you could be using that gift for his glory

The Reward is Proportionate to Their Faithfulness

Notice that the reward was directly proportionate to the faithfulness of the receivers of the reward
In other words; those entrusted with a lot recieved a lot
This master was very wise
Think about it; he didn’t give the 5 talents to the guy that was just going to bury it, did he?
No he gave him one; so that his inaction would have the least impact
But the ones who he knew would get out there and get to work he gave more
Are we willing to receive
Do we conduct ourselves in a manner in which God says, him or her that’s who I will give a lot too
Do we have a “here I am Lord, send me” attitude?
Or do we kind of look at that and say I am not sure I want/need this extra stuff in my life

The Lazy’s Plans Are Not God’s Plans

Laziness, in the bible is closer to reluctant or holding back
In the context of having teenagers laziness stems from your kids not having the same plans as you
You envision a clean room
They may not
You envision an e
It can be frustrating when talking about teenagers but not being on God’s plan is down right wicked
God’s agenda is that his creation would come to know him and love him
You don’t really care about the soul of another
To be in communion with him
A rejection of that is the opposite of
Rejection of that agenda is the opposite of everything good and redeeming and true
You

Consequences

Even though this is a parable, the Bible is clear that there are consequences for laziness; at least laziness when it comes to God’s kingdom
Weeping and gnashing of teeth...
Often this is a depiction of hell
Think about it, when you fail to utilize the gifts God has given you, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Not necessarily for you, but for all those you failed to invest into with the gifts God has given you
For the
For the church tha
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