Matthew 25: 14-30
Introduction: Why did Jesus tell so many parables about the
kingdom of heaven?
The treasure in the field, the mustard seed,
the yeast in the dough, the pearl of great price,
the seed scattered on the ground, the fishing net and
the weeds in the field.
Why did Jesus tell so many parables about
the kingdom of heaven?
Because – no one parable contains all the truth He wanted to
convey. Each parable has a central truth, and we
root around in the rest of the details in the
story for spiritual meaning at our peril.
Search through each parable for a main meaning
and then do us all a favor: stop searching!
Today’s story by Jesus leads us to believe that the way we
live here on earth will have rewards or punishments in the
life hereafter. If you only had today’s parable you might be
tempted to think you can work to earn a place
in heaven. NOT SO. Yet will be accountability
A. Accountability will be based upon Gifts and Ability.
1. The first thing to know about all your time
and all your money and
all your intellect and
all your blessings of where you were born and what
school you attended and who the good influences in
your life were…
the first thing to know about all that is that it was a gift to
you from God. Someone remarked “what happens to you is a
gift from God – what you make of all that
happens to you is your gift to God.”
2. See yourself as a steward of the assets in your life right now.
(remember where the word steward originates…)
14 (The kingdom of God is) like a man going on a journey,
who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.
What would it do to your picture of yourself if
you decided that you owned nothing!
We speak of “my body” – but what if the body you are in
right now is just an earth-suit that God
made for your spirit to walk around in?
“My marriage” – no, just a place for you
to learn how to be unselfish.
“My Job” – a place where God can
advertise His love through you.
You get it: called his servants and
entrusted his wealth to them.
1.“Pastor, I would be a MUCH better Christian
if I could sing better than I do.”
“Pastor, I would do so much MORE for God
if I were only a wealthy soul.”
“Pastor, if I only I lived in a different
country I would be a much more
EFFECTIVE witness for Jesus.”
Don’t talk rubbish! That’s a pile of garbage! Listen to this
scripture: 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two
bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability.
God expects nothing more from you
than what you are and what He has given you.
Your Accountability will be based upon Gifts and Ability.
If you are a ‘two-bags-of-Gold-ability’ person – stop
envying the 5 bags servant – you can’t handle that much!
2. There are some things in which all God’s servants are
Free air – we all take about 1000 breaths an hour.
Free communication – there’s about 5 000 major
languages on earth and each of us gets to understand
at least one of them.
How about time: Nobody gets less than 24 hours
every single day. If you live to 60 you have been
given the same 525, 600 hours as all the other 60
Some of you sleep 9 hours a day and
some sleep 5 hours a day. That means the latter
group have 87, 600 more hours to get things done!
16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once
and put his money to work and gained five bags more.
17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.
18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a
hole in the ground and hid his master’s money
Does that last bit make you say “oh, oh….”
3.Overall we have to admit that there are some people with
more talents and graces than we have. A Sunday School
song used to say:
“One talent have I to take to the sky;
while others are blest with ten of the best.
Why should I complain, from service refrain,
no never, no never not I.”
Now before we go to the second half of this message
we should state the obvious:
Salvation is by faith through grace alone. Ephesians:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Now here’s where today’s parable comes in: illus: I might
offer you the free gift of a violin, I paid for it, I wrapped it, I
held it out to you, and maybe you even took it from me an
stuck it in your closet. Just like salvation: the gift is only
really yours when, however well or
badly, you start playing that violin.
There is coming a judgment day and on that day your….
B. Acceptability will be based upon
Opportunity and Relationship.
1.While we can never be saved by doing good works – it’s
also true that doing good works is the natural result of the
salvation experience. We often sing these words
“I will serve Thee because I love Thee.”
In Jesus’ story there are three servants.
Three servants with various abilities.
I sometimes say that if you want to get something done
give the job to a busy person.
The servants with higher abilities got entrusted with
larger amounts of responsibility. Here is what happened:
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned
and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received five bags of gold
brought the other five.
‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold.
See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in
charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
You are going to see in a moment that people would have gasped
when Jesus said the words: You have been faithful
with a few things;
The principle though is true: If you are found faithful in what
you have been entrusted to do – there will be greater
responsibilities and most often greater rewards.
Jesus wanted to hammer home this concept
so the second servant reports:
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said,
‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge
of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
2.The original translators of the Bible into English from
Greek and Latin came upon this word for how much each
servant was trusted to manage. They translated it into the
Wycliffe in 1390 used the English word Bezant.
He was talking about a gold or silver coin minted at
The choice of the word Talent came directly from the Greek:
Originally a measure of weight varying in size from about 57
to 79 lbs; then a unit of coinage whose value differed
considerably in various times and places, but was always
comparatively high. So all that is fairly complicated.
Let’s just stay with the idea of 5, 2 and 1 bags of gold.
So that’s 325, 130 and 65lbs of gold.
Gold this week was $1229 per Oz.
So that’s 5, 2 and 1 bags of gold
and that’s 5, 200 oz, 2, 080 oz and 1, 040 oz
5 bags valued at 6 million 390 thousand 8 hundred dollars
(now you see why they gasped),
2 Bags at $ 2 million, 556 thousand 320 dollars and
1 bag at $1 million 278 thousand 160 dollars.
In Jesus’ story each person had been trusted with plenty of
responsibility. Say: are you one of those 60 year olds that
has already been trusted with 525 thousand 600 hours?
3. 24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came.
‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting
where you have not sown and gathering where you have not
scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your
gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew
that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have
not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money
on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have
received it back with interest. 28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him
and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be
given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not
have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw
that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will
be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
4.Is this unfair?
He only had one talent?
He only had 1.2 Million dollars to work with.
Don’t you just feel SO sorry for him?
No, it’s not unfair. But all of that is to speak to the second
point in this sermon:
he whose accountability was based upon Gifts and Abilityfound that
his acceptability was based upon Opportunity
He had enough to work with but he never loved his master.
‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not
sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground.
Conclusion – this is a parable about the kingdom.
This is a parable that says if you are IN the
kingdom you will have a desire to work for God.
You will want to promote the kingdom.
You will spend time not on yourself,
your ease –
but rather on the interests of King Jesus.
On the day when the final account of your life must be given
it won’t matter if you had five, two or one bags full of
There will be five, two and one baggers going to heaven and there
will be five, two and one baggers failing to get into the kingdom.
The question today is what are you doing
with what you have been given?