Dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ,

What did we learn from last week’s sermon on the Parable of the Talents?  It is that the Lord may give us spiritual insight on how to serve Him and to use God-given talents for the kingdom of Heaven.

The parable of the talents is part of the whole sermon on the Mount of Olives recorded in Matthew chapter 24 through chapter 25. Apart from this parable are two other parables, which are the parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the sheep and the goats. Each parable comes with warning, prophecy and encouragement from the Lord to His people.

The parable of the talents has it that the master went away for a long period of time. However, he did not go away without entrusting his resources to his servants.

Three servants received 5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talent respectively and each given according to their ability. The man who went on his journey must be rich because each of his servants was given a significant amount of talent or money.

A “talent” in those days would amount to 6,000 “denarii” and it would take an ordinary worker 20 years to earn a talent. (5 talents = 30,000 denarii or 100 years of a worker’s wages and 2 talents = 12,000 denarii or 40 years of a worker’s wages).

The rich man represents Christ and His journey to a far country refers to Christ’s return to heaven after His ascension. In the strictest sense, the servants in the parable represent His original disciples and in a broader sense to represent all true believers in every age and succeeding generation.

The servants in the parable were expected to know their master of his behavior and nature, and the master who knew his servants expected them to follow every word of his instruction. Each servant was to use the resources to invest in order to make a profit. Two servants made a 100% gain and the other returned the original amount without profit. The faithful servants were rewarded and the unfaithful servant punished.

What we have learned from the parable is this, that the number of talents is not the focus but what matters most is how it is used. If we have one talent, use it to the best of our ability. We should not to be envious of others who have more talents than us. Be it one gift or many gifts, we do not own them but they are on loan to us from the Lord. And therefore, we are to be humble ourselves when we have the ability and the capability to do many things for the Lord. We should not be complaining that we are not as good as others or to say that we must be of the same quality of so and so before we can serve the Lord. We can never be Moses or Paul but ourselves. God will not want us to be what we are not. He puts us in the ministries of the Church according to the abilities that He has given to us.

We served not to be saved but are saved to serve and therefore, the main points of the parable of the talents to remember are :

1. Be faithful in the use of opportunities for the Lord’s service while we wait for His return.

2. Be hardworking and diligent while we wait for His return.

3. Be doing what should be done with the view of the day of accountability at His coming.

Brothers and sisters, you can choose to be fruitful and productive or to be wicked and slothful. Will the Lord say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt 25:23) or will He say, “Thou wicked and slothful servant…cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 25:30).

Pastor Douglas Ho