In the Parable of the Talents Jesus is warning His disciples what it means to keep watch in His service, lest judgment overtake them as was about to happen to the unfaithful Jews whom He had just forsaken on the temple mount. After commending and rewarding His faithful servants for furthering His business interests, the Master in the parable has now condemned as wicked and lazy the unfaithful servant who buried his talent in the earth. Having caught the servant in his own words which he supposed would excuse him, what does the Master command concerning him in Mat 25:28? Why? See Mat 25:29. How does this again reiterate the main point of the parable that our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, has redeemed a people from their bondage to sin and chosen them as His own in order that they might serve Him in furthering His kingdom interests, even as He had originally done for the Jews in delivering them from their bondage in Egypt? What does it also remind us as His disciples about what it means to be on the alert and keep watch (Mat 24:42-44, 25:13), lest His coming be for us one of judgment, and not reward, if we are not faithful stewards of the riches of His kingdom entrusted to us? If one proves unfaithful with the talents entrusted to him, can he expect to retain possession of those talents? In what way were the unbelieving Jews, and especially their religious leaders, deprived of the talents of God’s treasure He had entrusted to them? Cf. Mat 23:38, 24:2, Rom 9:1-5. To whom were those talents given instead? See Mat 13:11-12, Rom 16:26, 1Co 3:16-17, Eph 3:4-6.
Why would the talent be taken away from him who had only one, and given to the one who already had ten? Was it because God is unfair and the servant who had only the one had enough without it, while the one who had ten didn’t already have enough? Or was it because the servant with one talent demonstrated he was not faithful even with his one, while the one with ten had demonstrated himself faithful even when entrusted with much more? See Luk 19:25-26; cf. Luk 8:18, 16:9-12, Joh 15:2. What warning does this offer many Christians today who suppose that because they are “saved” by grace through faith, it really doesn’t matter if they enter into the service of Him who redeemed them and to whom they belong? Cf. Mat 8:11-13, Luk 4:25-27.
When people think of salvation, they commonly think of heaven where there is no lack of anything, but an abundance of all things that make for joy and happiness of life, whether it be peace, safety, love, or even material provision; Jesus Himself taught that He came in order that we might have life, and have it abundantly (Joh 10:10). What does this parable as summarized in Mat 25:29 teach us is necessary if we are to enter into the abundance of life that Christ came to give? Whereas those who are faithful with what they are entrusted are promised an abundance, is the same true of those who are not faithful with what they are entrusted?
In what way are Jesus’ words in Mat 25:29 true of the talents of material, earthly riches? Cf. Job 27:16-17, Pro 13:22, 28:8, Ecc 2:26. In this sense, is it the case that just because one has material wealth, more wealth will be given to him? Or is it more the case that those who have wealth and manage it for the Lord’s kingdom will be given more, while those who have wealth and don’t manage it for God’s purposes will have it taken away? If such is true of worldly wealth, how much more true must it be for the treasures of spiritual wealth? Cf. Luk 16:11. What then is the danger of ignoring the spiritual gifts and talents the Lord has entrusted to us, both personally as individuals and corporately as the Church? Whereas practice increases the strength and usefulness of one’s gifts and talents, if we do not exercise our spiritual gifts and put to use the treasures entrusted to us, may they not atrophy and become of no use in the same way that a limb or even our minds can wither or degenerate without use? See Joh 15:6, 1Ti 4:14, 2Ti 1:6; cf. Jam 5:3. What does this teach us about the dangers of sedentary or passive activities as opposed to more productive activities that require our positive engagement and actual activity? Cf. 1Th 4:11, Tit 3:14, Heb 6:7-8. What are some examples of both the former and the latter? In what way has education for the sake of education—even of the Bible—become for some a sedentary, passive activity as opposed to education for the sake of being useful and productive in the world?