hc_logoHOPE Community

Message Text

Matt 25:14-30 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Message Notes

Owner and Steward

The book of Matthew records 5 lengthy discourses or teachings from Jesus:

The Sermon on the mount in Chapters 5-7

Commissioning of the Apostles in Chapter 10

Parables about the Kingdom in Chapter 13

Childlikeness of the believer in Chapter 18

Teaching on the Second Coming of Christ or the Olivet Discourse because of the location in Chapters 24-25

The parable of the talents is found in the 5th, Olivet Discourse, the 25th Chapter of Matthew. It is grouped with other parables about being watchful and prepared for the return of Christ. The parable presents a teaching about stewarding kingdom resources, but it also is a piece of a bigger picture about being watchful for the return of Christ. What will the Master be looking for when He returns?

1. Stewardship - It wasn’t their money to start with.

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, (all that fills it) the world and those who dwell therein,

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.

Nothing in our lives is permanent. We are moving through, and at best, we are stewards of what we have while we are here. The amount you steward is dependent on your capacity.

15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability

Initial capacity vs built capacity

21 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.

23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.

The point here is that both servants started with different capacities but were able to increase them. If they were benefitting from the return, then both of these servants would have experienced an increase, and that was a good thing.

2019 Washington Post Article - When a team of economists tracked the fortunes of financially distressed people in Florida who had won the lottery, they found that within three to five years, the winners of big prizes (between $50,000 and $150,000) were equally likely to have filed for bankruptcy as the small winners, and the groups had similarly low savings and levels of debt. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, about 70 percent of people who win a lottery or receive a large windfall go bankrupt within a few years.

You are not stuck where you are. You are stuck because you don’t change your capacity.

Mentality toward money

1. Budgets are not bad

2. Saving is good

3. A used car is fine

4. Being content is key

This parable is about 2 people who increased their capacity while the master was gone and they were rewarded for it. Stop hoping for reward and start planning on it. If this is God’s, then my responsibility is to handle it in a way that honors him.

2. Ownership

You may not own the resources, but you have to own the responsibility for them. You will never increase by blaming someone else.

24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’

The accusations were not even true, and even if they were, they should have elicited a much different response.

26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

The master is not reinforcing the statement as if it were true, he is asking a question. If you believed that about me, why didn’t you do something?

We have to take ownership of what God has entrusted us with his resources, and the expectation is that we will increase our capacity.

Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The works He has prepared will always require an increase in capacity. God will give you more than you can bear if you never grow up.

Hebrews 5:11 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

If we are to leave an inheritance for our children, which is biblical, we must increase our capacity; if we are to provide for the poor, we must increase our capacity; if we are to send the gospel to the whole world, we must increase our capacity, and if Christ is looking for a return on what he has given us, we must increase our capacity.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

​1. How does the idea of personal “capacity” (skill/ability) in this parable compare to our culture’s message that we all have the same potential and can do whatever we set our minds to?

2. When others appear to have greater ability than we have, why is it important to remember that God is good and loving and knows what he’s doing?

3. What is the difference between initial capacity and built capacity?

4. What is an area in which you have more skill/ability (“capacity”) than you used to?

5. Why did you realize you wanted to strengthen that area? What steps did you take? How did you know it was working?

6. What are some excuses you have heard (or have made) to avoid taking responsibility to improve a weakness?

7. What is the danger of not growing our capacity and increasing what God has entrusted to us?

8. How does our growth and increase glorify God and reach a lost and dying world?