Boyscouts aren’t the only ones who should be prepared…
- V1 – I’ve been including a lot of the notes from my ESV lately because this section is so tricky, and it is helpful to get a little bit of historical background. Like in this parable, which made very little sense to me before I read this note: “As God referred to himself as the “husband” of Israel in the OT (e.g., Isa. 54:4-6), so Jesus pictures himself here as a bridegroom. It was the Jewish marriage custom for the groom and his friends to leave his home and proceed to the home of the bride, where the marriage ceremony was conducted, often at night. After this, the entire wedding party returned to the groom’s home for a celebratory banquet.
- V1-12 – I think part of the point of this and the previous parable of the servant is that these are people who think they’re participating in the kingdom of God. We see servants of the master gone bad, bridesmaids in the wedding party being lazy/stupid. This reminds me of Matthew 7:21-23. “21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’(A) will enter the kingdom of heaven,(B) but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.(C) 22 Many will say to me on that day,(D) ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’(E) 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’(F)“
◊ What am I doing to stay prepared? To remain a good servant?
Does anyone know what the oil represents? Am I trying to over-interpret this parable?
- V5 – In this parable, everyone is caught off guard but some were prepared ahead of time.
- V8-9 – I don’t feel like I have a good grasp on this parable. I’m assuming this means you can’t “borrow” salvation from someone else. Any other ideas?
- V13 – The moral is the same as the other parable. Was the point of this parable mainly to introduce the idea of Jesus as bridegroom?
- V14 – Again, these are all servants working for the master, not outsiders.
- V14 – “Entrusted his property” – My Study Bible reminds us that “our time, abilities, and money aren’t ours in the first place – we are caretakers, not owners.”
- V15 – “To each one according to his own ability.”- That bit is important. The One who made me knows what I’m capable of. He doesn’t ask more or less of me than I can give. Sometimes I want more responsibility, but chances are, I’m not ready for it because I’m not being faithful with what I’ve been given. (Or maybe I want it for the wrong reasons…)
◊ I need to thoroughly examine what I’ve been given. Some of the things might not be obvious. I may be completely ignoring some things God’s asked me to care for. Look ahead to the next parable in 25:31-46. Do I have any needy neighbors? Any unreconciled relationships?
- V16 – FYI, the ESV says a talent wasn’t a coin, but a unit of monetary reckoning worth about 20 years wages for a laborer. Receiving five of those (or even one) is no joke. This first guy got right to business even though he knew his master would be away for a while.
- V18 – This guy hid it so he wouldn’t lose it, but it was given to him, not to keep, but to advance the kingdom.
◊ What “talents” am I hiding? Anything I keep to myself that I could be using to advance God’s kingdom could count: anything from my time and talents to my ladder and lawnmower.
- V21 – Whoa. If 100 years’ wages is a little, how much is much?!
- V24 – It seems like maybe this guy didn’t know his master very well. They certainly didn’t seem to have a good relationship.
- V25 – “I was afraid” – His fear of his own failure outweighed his fear of his master’s response to his bad decisions.
- V26 – The master returns what he said as a question, so it’s not even necessarily true. But the master points out that, even if the servant was genuinely mistaken in his perception of the master, he still didn’t do the logical and responsible thing. His fear was just an excuse. If the servant honestly believed what he said, he would have made a different choice.
◊ What are my excuses for why I’m hiding those talents I listed a minute ago?
- V27 – It’s interesting that the master didn’t just give his property to the “professionals”, but gave his servants an opportunity to be involved in his business.
- V28 – That man has already proven his ability to handle the responsibility.
- V29 – He’s said this exact same thing before (Matthew 13:12) only the first time it was in reference to understanding.
- V30 – So someone who thought he was “in” ends up “out.”
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?