Jesus continues His prophetic response to Peter, James, John and Andrew regarding three important questions in Matthew 25:14-46. They are having a private discussion on the mount of olives. The questions were: “When will the temple be destroyed?”, ” What will be the sign of Your coming?”, and “What will be the sign of the end of the age?” (If you missed it, we encourage you to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you read further here in Part 4.)
Jesus provides additional strong warnings regarding judgment that will accompany His return. He warns us all to be ready now and expect that there will be consequences when He returns based on how we lived “while the master was away”. We will be held accountable. Those who lived faithfully submitted to Jesus will rejoice and be rewarded.There is no middle ground. We are either submitted to Jesus as Lord or we are not. Our behaviors and attitudes are an indication of our true relationship with Jesus as fruit is an indication of the type of tree that grows it. Those who accepted Jesus in name only, never changing their behaviors to reflect a true submission to Him as Lord will be held accountable just as those who outright rebelled against or rejected God.
Parable of the Talents
14“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15“To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17“In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18“But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
22“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
24“And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30“Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Be encouraged… the master did not get angry with the man who made only two talents because another made five. The master praised both for their efforts and stewardship. Even the servant who dug the hole may have satisfied the master to a degree if he even had just put it in the bank. God gives each of us talents and abilities and a certain amount of time on this Earth. He expects us to serve Him by using what He gives wisely and not being wicked or slothful.
31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Clearly there is judgment when Jesus returns. Just an a parent wants a child to obey when they are not together or an employer wants an employee to obey instructions when the employer is away… so too Jesus wants us to live in obedience to Him even before He returns. The test of how you love your master, parent, or employer is best reflected in how you behave when you think he or she is not around.
Jesus gives us some specific examples of things we can do to show Him we love Him… by loving other people. We can meet physical needs and spiritual needs of others. The physical needs are straightforward to understand. All of them also represent spiritual needs… we must bring the truth of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many as we can! Jesus compared himself to the bread of life and compared what He offers us to life giving waters that quench us such that we will never be thirsty again. So too loneliness, sickness and captivity can by physical or spiritual. Only Jesus can set people free and meet these needs… but we are commanded to represent Him! How wonderful a task.
To begin, each of us must accept Jesus as Lord of our lives and turn away from our wrong behaviors and do things God’s way… according to the Biblical standard provided by God. This takes study and prayer to do it properly. We must study the Bible and learn to pray effectively. A godly, Biblical church can be part of that but can not replace additional personal time and effort by invested by each individual.
It takes commitment to draw near to God and serve Him well. He calls for us to make Him our top priority… not a hobby. Begin now to dedicate your life to God if you, like me, want to hear Jesus tell you the following words when you meet Him:
‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Get started by learning some core teachings:
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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.