Near the close of Jesus’ ministry, His disciples came to Him privately and asked, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus then takes two chapters to answer their questions. Matthew 24:1-51 tells of signs in the world around us, such as wars, disasters, etc. Then Matthew 25:1-46 talks about conditions in the church just before Jesus comes again. These conditions are illustrated by three stories, one of which is a parable of the talents, which talks about how His people had used the gifts that God had given to them.
Read Matthew 25:14-19. Who is the one traveling into a far country? To whom does He entrust His goods? What does it mean to “settle accounts” (see Matthew 25:19, NKJV)?
We sometimes think of talents as natural gifts such as singing, speaking, etc., but in the similar story of the minas in Luke 19:12-24, money and its management is specifically stated. Ellen G. White also stated, “I was shown that the parable of the talents has not been fully understood. This important lesson was given to the disciples for the benefit of Christians living in the last days. And these talents do not represent merely the ability to preach and instruct from the word of God. The parable applies to the temporal means which God has entrusted to His people.” — Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 197.
Read Matthew 25:20-23. What does God say to those who were faithful money managers in supporting His cause? What does it mean to “enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:23, NKJV)?
It is quite natural for us to think that the other person has more talents than we have and is therefore more responsible to God. In this story, however, it is the person with only one talent — the least money — that proved unfaithful and lost the kingdom. Rather than think of the responsibilities of others, let us focus on what God has entrusted to us and how we can use it to His glory.
|How are you going to fare when God comes to “settle accounts” with you?|
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