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Has the Church failed to get the faith/works issue right, and thereby failed to thrive? (Part 5)

11/17/2014

We have considered the importance God puts on our faith-filled choice to seek and follow Jesus, allowing him to be our personal Lord and savior. We have also noted that this was the first of three important messages Jesus shared with his disciples just prior to his death on the cross, a death through which he bore the punishment for our sins.

(Note this is a choice we make in faith. Many do not make it even though it is a choice available to everyone. Those who do not make this choice, do not have a personal relationship with Christ, and therefore are in danger of hearing those fateful words, “I never knew you.” This was explained in more detail in posts 1-3 of this series.)

Now we begin our consideration of the second parable, The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable a landowner was going on a journey and he put his valuables in the hands of three of his servants to manage. “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey,” (Matt. 25:15 NASB).

“Talents” is a term used to indicate something of great value. It could have been money; in fact some Bible  translations use the word “gold” in place of “talents.”

Please note, however, the often overlooked second part of that sentence, “each according to his own ability.” The landowner knew what each was capable of. He was not expecting any more than what their capabilities would allow.

Read what each one did with the talents put in their care. “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money,” (Matt. 25:16-18 NASB).

After a long time, the landowner returned. He called the servants in for an accounting of his valuables.

Those who had increased his valuables were rewarded and given more to work with. The one who had buried his, had it taken away.  Then he was sent away. He went out to join others who were gnashing their teeth. Regret, great sadness over his failures, hopeless desire for another chance, and sorrow were his consequences.

Although the landowner seems harsh, the point being made is that the landowner has trusted his servants with his most precious possessions with the expectation that they would  grow/increase their value in his absence.

How does this pertain to the faith/works issue? Well we will consider that in the next post. Think about it in the meantime. Remember a parable is a story of familiar events and objects for that day, but where the events, things, people all represent something far greater.

Who might the landowner represent?

Who might the servants represent?

What might the valuables be that the servants received?

Until next time may you be blessed by God almighty.

M.

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