Monday, February 24, 2014

The Parable of the Talents

Longest parable in Matthew.  Matt. 25:14-30
(talent = largest piece of currency in the Jewish culture at that time)

The setting?  the context?  - Matt. 24:1-3    Two chapters dealing with end of the age, return  of Christ (can mean literal return, or return upon our death where we will meet Him), judgment he brings with Him. 

Here particularly the judgment is on how we handle (manage) the wealth He's given us.  He will call us to account for what we did with what we were blessed with.
Greek word in English = economy/economist ==> "steward/ship"
In the NIV = entrusted (committed with)   NAS = steward/ship - manager of estate

Examples:  1 Cor. 4:1
Note 1) the use of the word
         2) the application of the word.... ie:  more than monetary/material things.
Titus 7:7   1 Pet. 4:10 - Stewardship goes far beyond money, property, etc.  We are stewards of the mysteries of God.
The Clear Picture:
1)  We are appointed managers of the wealth He's given us.  (trustee, overseer, administrator, steward!!)  He expects us to use it.  Really not ours anyway.

2)  Wealth is far more than monetary/material. = $$, stuff, but also = abilities, talents, giftedness, influence, opportunity, time

3)  We are to use this wealth to further His Kingdom.
WHY??  Because His Kingdom is  A)  beneficial to everyone  B)  Good  C)  eternal - and yours is not!

How???   1)  Surrender it
                2)  Ask Him  - "seek and you will find"
Meanwhile - is yours to enjoy!!

4)  There will be an accounting (reckoning) of wealth have received and what did with it.
BUT judgment doesn't have to be BAD!! - Matt. 25:23 - we determine what kind will be.

As His Steward - you are called to be:
#1.  Faithful = word most often associated with stewardship
Matt: 24:45  Matt. 25:21  1 Cor. 4:1-2
ie:  loyal, allegiant, dedicated, reliable, dependable, trustworthy
1 Pet. 4:10

#2.  Prudent  (old word) = wise, discerning
from Webster = sagacity or shrewdness in managing affairs.  Skill and good judgment in the use of resources.
Matt.  24:45  Eph. 5:15-17
Ex.  It may be legal to put last $5.00 in slot machine instead of buying groceries, but not prudent!!

#3.  Productive - we've lost the concept of this in evangelical circles
Eph. 2:8-10  2 Tim. 3:16-17  2 Pet. 1:5-8
We're created to do good works and BE productive.

"This is so condemning!!"
Yes, it is!!!  Because we all fall short!!!
BUT, purpose of parable is NOT condemnation, but correction and salvation!!

God's Son/God's Word - not to condemn but to Redeem - John 3:16-17.  Parables designed to give same correction, instruction as this.

Important to ask:  1)  How have I failed?
                            2)  Where do I stand?
More important to ask:  3)  where am I going?  from here??  The past is past!

The Beginning  of Good Stewardship is surrender to the Master.   No one can escape one of two scenarios:
A) - never surrendered
B) - have surrendered but took back control

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