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Are You Ready? Part III
2/25/2010

Are You Ready-Part III
The Lazy Servant

"Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. Matthew 25:24-28 (NKJV)


We are looking at a series titled, "Are you ready."  In this series we are looking into the Book of Matthew to see a series of parables given by Jesus that illustrate what will take place at His 2nd coming - how there will be those who will be found "Not Ready." 

In Part II of this series we looked at the second parable of the "10-Virgins" that Jesus used to show what would happen to those who were not prepared for His return - those who did not have "oil" in their lamps which translates to the "Holy Spirit" and a "Saving relationship" with Him.  

In His 3rd parable Jesus now speaks of servants who were given varying amounts of money (Talents) to invest in the absence of their master who had gone away and who one day would return to make an accounting of what they had each done with what was given to them (See Matthew 25:14-30). 

And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lords money. Matthew 25:15-18 (NKJV)

This is an interesting parable because it teaches us that we, as Christians, have been given valuable resources by God and that there will be varying amounts given to each of us - but we are each responsible for what has been given to us (Luke 12:48).  The next thing we can see is that this parable suggests that the servants are almost partners with their Master in that they will either share in the profit of the investments or they will be held responsible for not investing it properly.  We can clearly see the implication that the departure of the Master is an allegory depicting Jesus' ascension, and the "Talents" that were given, were not necessarily money, but various gifts given to each of us by the Holy Spirit.

It is very interesting to know that a "Talent" was equivalent to roughly 6,000 denarii - an amount of currency sufficient to pay a common day laborer for 20-years of his work - that's a valuable investment to leave a servant.  And so it is with us; God has left each of us in the individual gifts and abilities that we have been uniquely given - and they are equally valuable in God's eyes.

The next thing we can glean from this parable is the illustration of how each of the servants were stewards of their talents.  Two of the men invested wisely and were rewarded by doubling the amount that they initially had.  We then see the Master commending them by calling them "Faithful," and telling them to enter into the Joy of the Lord.  

The third servant foolishly took the talents and buried them in the ground.  And the Master responded to him by saying, "You wicked and lazy servant" (Mt. 25:26).  Some would say that the 3rd servant was bummed because he was not given a greater amount like the other two servants were given.  This would be a poor excuse for not being diligent and responsible with what "Was" given to him.  It is the same with us, we are all given varying amounts of gifts and abilities - we cannot look over at others and choose not to use our gifts because someone else has what Appears to be more; we will be accountable for what we have been given.

 For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required... Luke 12:48 (NKJV)

There are some who would say, "I don't have any special talents from God."  And I would say, "Hogwash!"  Here me in this, we don't have to be able to sing like a professional or preach like a preacher, we just have to be willing to serve with a willing heart.  Can you greet and welcome folks?  Then see about getting involved on your church as a greeter.  Can you change a diaper?  Then think about donating some time in the Children's ministry and serve in one service during Sunday allowing the parents an opportunity to have an hour to worship and be fed.

The bottom line is that each of us has been given talents, time and abilities to serve others.  We are told to imitate Jesus (Eph 5:1), and He came to serve - not to be served.  Let's ask God how He would like to use us today.  Let's not bury the little talents that we have been given.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures included in this devotional with regard to using what we have been given by God?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you using the gifts that God has given you?  Are you willing to ask God to reveal additional gifts that you may have, and then are you willing to use those as well?

APPLICATION: Let's ask the Lord how He would like to use us today.  Let's serve others in whatever way presents itself, and bring honor and glory to God.

Father, Thank You for giving me the abilities that I have been given.  Lord, I am sorry for those times where I have decided not to use these gifts or when I have taken them for granted.  But Lord, please show me when and where you want me to use them so I can keep my life balanced and be able to meet the needs of my family as well.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000