T H E K ING ’S BUS INESS
servant said, “I have gained other five talents” (R. V .).' In the parable of the pounds, the servant says, “Thy pound hath gained ten pounds” (Luke 19:16). The two statements set forth two different sides of the truth (cf. 1 Cor. 15:10; John 15:5; 1 Cor. 3:9; Gal. 2:20). The Lord’s an swer was in itself abundant reward, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It was his fidelity, not his success that his master praised. But praise was not all he got, he was given enlarged opportunity and au thority (cf. Luke 12:44; 22:29;'Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 21:7; 2 Tim. 2:12). But even this was not all, there was added, "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Leighton says, “Here a few drops of joy enter into us; there we enter into joy as vessels set in a sea of glory.” “The Joy of the Lord ’ is the joy the Lord Himself has” (cf. Ps. 36:8). Now comes the two talent man and his report is glad and confident, He received the same praise and the same joy, for he had been, according to his measure, equally as faithful as the other (cf. 2 Cor. 8 :12). The one talent man held back but he had to .come at last. He too called his Master “Lord,” but he had not »treated him as “lord” (Luke 6:46); He ..said he “was afraid," that is not the spirit of true serv ice (Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7). He tried to shift the blame of his failure upon his lord, and thus all faithless servants of Christ act. It did not lessen his guilt to slander his master. He did not really know his lord, though he said he did (v. 24). False notions about God lie at the bottom •of careless and frightened and unsuccessful service. The Lord exposes the folly of his excuses and shows him the real trouble in five words, “Thou wicked and slothful ser vant.” He. was condemned out of his own mouth, his talent taken away-and he cast into the outer darkness with its awful agony and impotent rage and all because he was “unprofitable” (literally, “useless”) Tuesday, April 20. Matt. 25:22-30.
ceiving larger gifts involves larger respon sibility (Luke 12:48). The talents were given, not for the personal benefit of the recipient but to use for his Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 14:12; 2 Cor. 1:4). If we use our gifts for our own private advantage, we are guilty of embezzlement of trust funds. The man receiving the five talents increased them by using them. We can trade with our talents and thus increase them by using them in labors for Christ (1 Cor. 15:10; , 1 Tim. 6:17, 18; 2 Peter 1:5-10; 1 Cor. 14:12). The man with the two talents also traded with them and succeeded propor tionately as well as the man with five. The man with one talent was 'afraid of losing what he had and hid it instead of using it. It is not only one talent men who do this but the temptation to do it is peculiarly strong with one talent men. They are tempted to think, “If I had five talents there would be some use in trying to do some thing, but what is the use of trying to do anything with only one talent?” Paul warns Timothy against this very error (1 Tim. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:6). The coming back of their lord represents the return of our Lord. When He returns He will make a reckoning with us (cf. Matt. 16:27; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2- Cor. 5:10). Every one of us shall have a part in that reckoning (Rom. 14:12). If we are true believers, we shall not be judged as to whether we are saved or not, that is al ready settled (John 5:24 R. V.), but we shall be judged as to our reward (1 Cor. 3:13-15). The Lord is represented- as com ing back "after a long time." This was said because many expected that His king dom was immediately to appear (Luke 19-ll). It has already been ‘!a long time.” The five talent man presented himself first to the lord; he was not afraid to come. There was a tone of exultation in his words. We too may sp live n s 'to have no fear in the day of His coming and of judgment (1 John 2:28; 4:16, 17). The Monday, April 19. Matt. 25:19-21. /
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