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Friday, May 25, 2018

The Parable of the Talents - Part 1

We now come to the Parable of the Talents. We note again the context of the end and the return of the Lord.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them...After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them."
-Matt 25:1,19

We note these are "servants." Mary's song in Luke 1, she declares (in part):

"He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
-Luke 1:54-55

This is not unique. Israel is called God's servant all through the prophets. The word is not unique to Israel, but it is very clearly applied to the nation.

But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away
-Isaiah 47:9-10

In the age to come, Israel will be called of the nations and back into the land (this has started in our age). When the KIng returns to his earthly kingdom, he will call his servants before him.

As with all the parables, there is tremendous depth here, and we will not plumb all that is here.

Let us jump to the judgment of the servant who buried his talent and has nothing to show for his charge.

‘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.’
-Matt 25:24-25

Many will say the servant here does not know the Lord, for the Lord is loving and gracious. Of course, that is true, but the Lord is also a just judge. When men do speak of God's judgment, many quote the scripture, "Vengeance in mine, says the Lord," but they often miss its TWO uses.

In Romans 12, the context is leaving the judgment of "all men" to the Lord. However, in the Book of Hebrews, the context is "His people."

Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
-Hebrews 10:29-31

This is severe warning. Note how this chapter ends:

“For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the [preserving] of [life].
-Hebrews 10:37-39

We looked at "perdition" recently. This is "waste." It speaks of a uselessness, just as the "servant" in this parable. See what the lord says to the man:

"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.'"
-Matt 25:26-28

We will look at the punishment for this servant in Part 2. We have seen this punishment before.