Read Matthew 25:13-30. What role does using our gifts have in preparing us for the return of Christ?
Though Jesus told a different parable here than the one just before, both talk about being ready for the return of Christ.
Both deal with those who were ready and those who weren’t. And both show the fate of those who, through their own spiritual neglect, faced eternal loss.
Just as the oil represents the Holy Spirit for the ten virgins, so the “bag” or “bags of gold” (Matt. 25:15, NIV) represent talents, which is the Greek word (talanta) in the original language. “The talents represent special gifts of the Spirit, together with all natural endowments.” — The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 510.
All the servants in the parable had received goods from their master. Notice, too, that they were the master’s goods (Matt. 25:14),which were entrusted to them “each according to his own ability” (Matt. 25:15, NKJV). The gifts given to them were given in trust; in a real sense, these servants were stewards of what they didn’t own but were responsible for. That’s why, when the master came back, he “settled accounts with them” (Matt. 25:19, NKJV).
Spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:1-11, 1 Cor. 12:28-31; Eph. 4:11). There is good news for those who think they have the least gift. Gifts are never received without the Giver. So, these people receive their gift by receiving the greatest gift — the Holy Spirit.
The gifts are already ours in Christ, but our actual possession depends upon our reception of the Holy Spirit and surrender to Him. Here is where the unprofitable servant made his mistake. He had been given a gift but did nothing with it. He left his gift unimproved. He didn’t make an effort to take what he had been graciously given and do something with it. As a result Jesus called him “wicked and lazy” (Matt. 25:26, NKJV) — a powerful condemnation.
|Jesus told this parable in the context of the last days and His return. What does it teach us, then, about how the use of our talents is crucial to being prepared for the last days?|