Matthew 25: 25 “ And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
Matthew 25:30 “ And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
There are a few verses I left out that give the complete story of the parable of the talents. But for the sake of this discussion, I want to focus on the third servant of the parable and his consequences for his inaction.
In the parable all three servants were aware of the Master’s eventual return. The third servant certainly knew his master well, for the missing verses tell of this knowledge. But the key here is the first three words out of this servant’s mouth. “ I was afraid”.
Most of my life, especially in my younger years growing up, I wanted to be accepted by my peers. My dad was blue collar and I grew up in a community of college professors and doctors. Most of the kids I went to school with were the sons and daughters of these “professional” people. It was the age-old story of growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. The few that had blue collar dads were from a hard drinking, rough and tumble lifestyle that was completely foreign to me. I was an outcast. I was afraid.
I accepted the Lord as my Savior when I was 16. Over the next 35 years of my wandering and often misguided life, I slowly began to accept Him as my Lord. In all that time I have encountered many situations where “I was afraid” to speak up and tell someone about Jesus. I was afraid to invest my Lord’s payment entrusted to me for His gain. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was His payment, the talent entrusted to me. The investment He made in me for the salvation of mankind. Should I hide that payment for myself then I am no better than the servant in the parable of the talents. I was afraid to be an outcast, an oddball. I was afraid of persecution, ridicule, and harassment. I have been afraid.
Matthew 10:32 “Whosever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Read on through verse 42.
As the prophecies in the Bible continue to unfold, we see the evidence that Jesus will soon return in the clouds and call those who are His own to the marriage supper of the Lamb, often called the rapture of the church. The scriptures tell us that the final 7 years before Jesus final return as King to rule the earth will literally be hell on earth.
In Revelation 3:10 Jesus revealed to John the promise of an escape for those who are faithful. Escape from the “hour of temptation” that will come to the world. Elsewhere in scripture we are told to “pray that ye are counted worthy to escape the things to come” Luke 21:36, and again in 1 Thessolonians 5:9 the promise that believers can escape the wrath to come. In the parable of the talents and Luke 21:36 there is a strong hint that knowledge of Jesus, and even belief in Jesus, though sufficient for our salvation, may not make us “worthy” to escape the seven years of tribulation. There are many that believe that salvation insures your attendance in the rapture, and that may be true, or not….
If it were true, why would Luke write “pray that ye are counted worthy”?
The servant with the talent certainly knew his master, knew him quite well. He knew that his master would return for an accounting of his talents. Yet this servant was cast out. Why? Because, as the verses indicate, he was slothful. Lazy is another word for slothful. So mindful of his own skin that fear could and did immobilize him. Too afraid to go out and invest his master’s talents that had been entrusted to him.
Oh how often do the cares of this world sidetrack us from the things of God? We get busy, and though God tugs us, we fear to step up to tell someone about Jesus. Though we may be saved, we tend to coast along on that. Luke was talking to believers when he wrote “Pray that ye are counted worthy”. Why would this be necessary for those that have already accepted Jesus as savior? The scriptures are clear that we CAN NOT ever be “worthy” for salvation. Salvation is a free gift. The Bible says so. Worthy of what then? Jesus is fast returning to claim His bride. The rapture of the church is real, though it is not called rapture in our Bibles, it is written of there. To be worthy is to serve our Lord. My fear is that many who know Jesus will be caught asleep, without investing as it were. The scriptures tell us that salvation is free, but the rapture is for those that are worthy. Pray ye are counted worthy.
In conclusion read 1 Peter Chapter 4:12-19,
Verse 12 Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you……….
Verse 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified...
Verse 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Simply walking in faith