Parable of the talents in Matthew 25


Parable of the talents in Matthew


First of all we need to understand that in God’s program with Israel the issue of being justified unto eternal life, and the issue of having entrance into the kingdom when it is established, are not the exact same thing. An Israelite would have to be justified in God’s sight to be able to have entrance into the kingdom, but just because he is justified this does not guarantee him immediate entrance into the kingdom. And this is because immediate entrance into the kingdom, and participation in its glories and blessings from its outset, is a reward for the faithfulness of a justified Israelite.

There is therefore the real possibility for a justified Israelite to be denied immediate entrance into the kingdom once it is established, if his service to the Lord has not been faithful, and therefore has not been worthy of being given immediate entrance.

Now this real possibility is something that the Lord deals with His disciples about on a number of occasions, and in a number of parables, including the two that He sets forth in Matthew . (e first in verses –, about the  virgins; and the second in verses -, about the talents, which is the one you asked about.)

In these two parables the Lord is amplifying upon this very real possibility and illustrating it, especially in view of the fact that in :– He has just warned His disciples about becoming victims of either foolishness or unfaithfulness in connection with all the various pressures and temptations that they will experience during the final installment in God’s program with Israel, especially during the tribulation period to come. As the Lord said in :, He wants them to be “faithful” and “wise” servants during that time, especially in connection with the responsibilities that He is entrusting them to fulfill during that time. And they need to be both “faithful” and “wise,” for that is the only way that they will be rewarded by Him when He returns. If they are “faithful” and “wise,” then He will respond to them by giving them positions of rulership. However, if they are not “faithful” and “wise,” but “evil” in their thinking and conduct, then those of the disciples that are such will be separated from those who are faithful, and they will be ‘appointed their portion with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Now before saying anything more, it is important in connection with what the Lord says to understand that there are two separate and distinct places where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” One is the “furnace of fire” for the unjustified, which the Lord, for example, referred to earlier on in Matthew :. But the other place is “outer darkness,” which is not the same place as the “furnace of fire.” Rather “outer darkness” is the issue of being outside the glorious “light” of the land of Israel that the prophets spoke of that would exist in the land once the kingdom is established in it.

ere will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in both places, for those who are sent to either place, as remorse is experienced in both places. But the “furnace of fire” is where the unjustified will go, while the “outer darkness” that will be outside the land of Israel is to where unfaithful members of the remnant of Israel will be relegated, as they are not rewarded with immediate entrance into the glorious light of the kingdom because of their unfaithfulness.

Now it is this issue of being outside the land of Israel’s glorious kingdom and its “light” that the Lord is dealing with His disciples about in the end of Matthew , and in the amplifying parables on it in Matthew . For once again it is the “portion” that is appointed to unfaithful and unwise members of the remnant of Israel once the kingdom is established. And those that are relegated there are not rewarded with the blessings of the kingdom right away; they do not receive immediate entrance into the glories of the kingdom right away.

So then having then set forth this warning to His disciples in :–, the Lord goes on in Matthew  and sets forth the two parables to His disciples that amplify upon, and that illustrate for them, the issues of them needing to be “faithful” and “wise”; along with the opposite issues of being “unfaithful” and “unwise.” (Hence the Lord’s opening words in : being, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto…)

e first parable of the  virgins awaiting the commencement of the marriage amplifies upon and illustrates the issues of the disciples either being “wise” or “unwise,” (or “foolish”). And the second one about being given the talents in verses – particularly amplifies upon, and illustrates for them, the issues of them either being “faithful” and “unfaithful,” (or “slothful”).

As is illustrated by the actions of the five “foolish” virgins, they were “foolish” for not taking heed to the time-factor and patience-factor involved in waiting for the commencement of the marriage. And as such they were not “ready” when the bridegroom returned for the marriage.

(Just as can be the case with any of the disciples who during that time do not pay attention to both the time-factor and patience-factor doctrines the Lord taught them concerning the final installment in Israel’s program and His return at the end of it.)

Due to their lack of wisdom, the five “foolish” virgins are denied entrance into the marriage. Which is just what will be the case with a similarly “foolish” member of the remnant of Israel. e Lord will deny any of His “foolish” servants immediate entrance into His kingdom.

Instead for a time they will be on the outside looking in, so to speak. And as the parable of the talents in verses – goes on to relate, the same will be the case if any of the remnant of Israel are “unfaithful,” or “slothful,” with respect to the various responsibilities that will be given to them, and that they will be entrusted with, during that time. For those responsibilities will be given to them for the purpose of providing them with the opportunity to be trained and qualified for being able to be put into positions of rulership and great responsibility in the kingdom once it gets established. Wherefore, as the Lord sets forth in the parable, the disciples that are “faithful” will be rewarded with commensurate responsibility in the ruling administration His kingdom. But those that are “unfaithful,” or “slothful,” will not be so rewarded. Moreover their unfaithfulness will result in them having their original responsibility ‘taken away,’ and they will be relegated to the “outer darkness” outside the glories of the kingdom’s establishment in the land.

This is a brief description of what the issue is in the parable of the talents in Matthew . It has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of being justified unto eternal life, or being saved from the debt and penalty of one’s sins. e Lord’s disciples to whom He gave the parable already were justified in God’s sight unto eternal life, and thereby they already had salvation from the debt and penalty of their sins. e issue that the Lord was dealing with them about was the issue of their service unto Him as His servants, by which they could either be rewarded with immediate entrance in the glories and blessings of the kingdom at its establishment, or be denied that immediate entrance. It all depended upon whether or not they were going to be “wise” and “faithful” to what He entrusts them to do as His servants when He leaves.

Keith Blades
Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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