Rewards

Matthew 25:20-21.“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of they lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewst that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from  him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall betaken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

This parable is all about diligence in view of the return of the Lord.  The first two servants doubled what they had been given, and the master was well-pleased. They had trusted him to return, and to reward them for their work while he was away. Because they had done well, they were rewarded with even more responsibility.

The third servant, however, did not trust his master. He did nothing with the talent he’d been given, burying it for safekeeping and having no gain to show for the long period of time the master had been away.  He even, on the master’s return, had the effrontery to accuse his master of being hard, greedy, taking that which did not belong to him. He did what a lot of us do, shifting the blame for his lack of diligence over onto  someone else. He refused to accept the responsibility for his slothful behavior, impugning the character of his master instead. The slothful man tends to accuse those who “have” of being hardhearted and uncharitable toward those who “have not.”  believing that nothing ever works out well for him.

The unprofitable servant had the same amount of time to bring a return on his talents as the other two servants had. He simply chose to do nothing, and his “reward,” unbelieving  in his master, was to be cast into outer darkness where there would be weeping a gnashing of teeth. This description denotes hell, a place of eternal punishment. This place of outer darkness is not just the grave. it is a place of bitter remorse and pain.  (Rev. 9:2, Matthew 13:50, 8:12, etc.)

The third servant was never a believer. He in fact mistrusted the Lord and found reason in his own mind not to serve him.

Be careful, be diligent. Jesus will return.

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