Matthew 25:21,23 (The Master’s Commendation)

In the Parable of the Talents Jesus is illustrating for His disciples what it means to be faithful stewards of the manifold riches of His grace entrusted to them, lest they too be swept away to destruction as was about to happen to the unbelieving Jews who proved unfaithful stewards of God’s heavenly treasures that had been given to them.  The parable likens Himself to a man who delivered great quantities of His wealth to His servants and then went on a journey.  Two of His servants immediately put His capital to work and earned an amount equal to what was given to them, while a third servant buried what was entrusted to him for fear of losing it.  After a long time the Master returned to settle accounts, and while the third servant lingered to give his account the first two immediately came to report their gain.  Because they had faithfully discharged the trust committed to them they had no fear to hold back.  They also had no need to gainsay the truth of what they had actually done, for they had in hand the additional talents they had earned to which they could point as evidence of what they had accomplished.

How does the Master in the parable now commend those servants?  See Mat 25:21,23.  Although it is impossible for those who walk according to the flesh to be well-pleasing to the Lord, what does His commendation remind us about the goal of our redemption, and how those who have been redeemed and walk according to the Spirit may indeed please Him?  See Rom 8:5-9; cf. 2Ch 31:20-21, Joh 8:29, Rom 2:29, 1Co 4:5, 2Co 5:9, 10:18, 1Pe 1:7.  What does Scripture teach about how we may be pleasing to the Lord that also helps us understand how to manage the talents entrusted to us in a way that will be commended by Him?  See Eph 5:8-11, Col 1:9-12, 1Th 4:1, 2Ti 2:4, Heb 11:5-6, 13:16,20-21.  What blessing is promised for those who do the things that are pleasing to God, that also ensures that their talents will grow?  See 1Jo 3:22.

What two words does the Master use to describe the first two servants in His commendation of them?  See Mat 25:21,23.  Could those same words be used to describe us for our service to the Lord?  Although no one is good in the sense of being morally perfect like God whose nature is the definition of goodness (cf. Luk 18:19), what does the Master’s description of these servants teach us about the notion held by some that it is impossible for men in this age to be considered good or righteous by the Lord?  See Luk 23:50, Act 11:24; cf. Luk 1:6, 2:25, Act 10:1-2,22.

What is the significance to the purpose of the parable and what Jesus is teaching His disciples that the Master commends the servants as being faithful?  Cf. the sister parable to this one in Mat 24:45-51.  Again, who had proved themselves unfaithful whom the Lord had just shortly before forsaken to their own will and devices that prompted this whole discourse?  Cf. Mat 23:1-3,13,15,16, etc…, Mat 23:37-38, 24:1-3.  Like goodness, why is faithfulness so important to God?  See Deut 7:9, 32:4, 1Co 1:9, 10:13, 2Co 1:18, 1Th 5:24, 2Th 3:3, 2Ti 2:13, Heb 10:23, 11:11, 1Jo 1:9.  Who all is described in the New Testament as being faithful, and for what reason, that helps us to understand how we too may be commended as being faithful?  See 1Co 4:17, 1Co 7:25 KJV, Eph 1:1, 6:21, Col 1:2,7, 4:7,9, 1Ti 1:12, Heb 3:5, 1Pe 5:12, 3Jo 1:5.  Who among men is most worthy to be emulated as the epitome of faithfulness?  See Heb 2:17, 3:2, Rev 1:5, 3:14, 19:11.  What is the significance that this same word pistos that means faithful is also the word translated as believer?  Cf. Act 10:45, 16:1,15, 2Co 6:15, Gal 3:9, 1Ti 4:10,12, 5:16, 6:2, etc… What does this help us to understand about what it means to be a believer?  Cf. Rev 17:14.  As faithfulness is so central to the character of God, how important must it be for those who call themselves believers to be faithful in their relationship to the Lord and to the agreement they enter into with Him at their baptism to serve Him?  Was circumcision or being children of Abraham of any value to those Jews who were not faithful to their calling as a holy people to be a light to the nations?  In the same way, should Christians suppose that baptism or saying a sinner’s prayer will profit them if they are not faithful to the covenant which they must enter into with the Lord if they are to experience true salvation?

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