How are we to live? Jesus tells us in a very practical way.




Today we have the Parable of the Talents and that of the Ten Virgins.








The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
For Serious Students



Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue




14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 ”‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:14-30) 



Like the Parable of the Ten Minas, the major emphasis of the talents, is maximizing the spiritual abilities or gifts we have been given in and for the Lord's service.

Too often we hear, maybe even from our own mouth, words like, "I have nothing to offer God/the church/others for I have no talents, not like xxxx down the road.....!"

This, as the parable says, is a copout! There are several points to be made.

Firstly, all the servants (Christians) of the master (God/Jesus) had at least one talent. No, we are not all the same in terms of gifts given, but every believer can, indeed must, make a contribution to the ongoing work of their Saviour and Lord, for the kingdom to grow.

For we are all, as Paul explains, different but vital parts of the one body;


1 Corinthians 12:12-20



Secondly, there are those who have been given what are called, the 'ministry gifts'. This does not mean that they have a title, or are paid, or are responsible to 'do it all', but that God has given them talents to help train US to DO THE WORK and become MATURE in Christ.  


Ephesians 4:11-13



I also hear, "I would love to have his or her talents!" But would you really? For, the greater the giftings, the greater the responsibilities! And, from experience and observation, the greater spiritual attacks also! 


James 3:1



The same would apply to the other ministry gifts as well.

Of course, there is a wider range of spiritual gifts mentioned in several places, such as...


1 Corinthians 12:4-11



Thirdly, in our walk with Jesus, we are all required to develop spiritual fruit in our lives. 


Galatians 5:22-5



I would suggest that if you and I fully developed these character traits in our life, we would reflect Jesus to others. What a talent that would be!

Our talents are not fixed. As we develop in our walk with Jesus, He may well give more talents to us. We are told to always desire the greater gifts.


1 Corinthians 12:27-31



Finally, the conclusion of this parable is the same as the previous one. A serious warning! If we don't use our God given talents for Him, we will be banished into outer darkness! It is not enough to simply believe. We must put our beliefs into action in order to receive our heavenly reward.

"Lord, help us to fully utilize Your talents, given to us, for You".




The Parable of the Ten Virgins

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 ”‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13)



This parable, unlike most of the others we have looked at, is about 'kingdom future' rather than 'kingdom now'. It looks at the return of Jesus. 


Revelation 19:6-9



The 'virgins' represent Christians. Not literally, of course, as 4 sons attest in my case. Definitely not immaculate conceptions! But beyond the joking.....

The heart of the parable concerns the lamps and the oil. What do they represent? There is considerable discussion, and often confusion, about this. For people with varying theologies, approach the parable in different ways.

As I have been pondering this, wondering how to present it, the Lord has given me some revelation that I would now like to share with you. It is always much easier to write when this happens!

The lamps and oil can be looked at from three perspectives.

Firstly, from the perspective of Jesus. In the church there are both true and false believers. This can be regarded as those with and without oil in their lamps. The true will be saved by the blood of Jesus, the false banished from the wedding feast, from being with Jesus in heaven.


Matthew 13:28-30



Those adhering to traditional and evangelical church traditions will readily grasp this understanding.

Secondly, from the perspective of the Holy Spirit. Oil is associated with the Holy Spirit. Right from Old Testament times, in the first worship centre, the Tabernacle of Moses, oil was used to light the 7 lighted lampstand, or menorah (pictured), in the Holy Place, the realm of the Holy Spirit. For more detail, check out A REVELATION OF....... THE AMAZING TABERNACLE OF MOSES



The Holy Spirit is not only about spiritual gifts, but He also is our guide, teacher and friend in daily living. 


John 14:26



Thus, those that are full of the Holy Spirit (ie. have the oil of the Holy Spirit in their lamps) will remain awake for the return of Jesus, whereas those that don't, won't.

This interpretation is understood most readily by those of pentecostal and charismatic persuasions.

Finally we need to consider the parable from the perspective of the Father. You see, along with the Holy Spirit, comes a whole different viewpoint, one of obedience to the Fathers will.


John 14:15-17



While comprehended and lived by some individual believers through the ages, this principle is not understood or accepted by most of the church today. This revelation is for the 'kingdom church', not a congregation meeting in a building, but a living vibrant, amorphous group of disciples, fully sold out to becoming the light of Jesus in the world.  


Ephesians 4:8-13



Burning the Holy Spirit oil, of obedience to the Father's will, in our lamps, creates the light of Jesus in our life.

The parable concludes with the warning not to let our 'life light' of Jesus go out, for no-one knows the hour and day of His return.

How is the oil supply in your lamp today?




..... with a look at one of the most important parables of Jesus, the Parable of the Sower. 




The essence of both these parables is seated in obedience to the will of God. Using our talents, readiness for His return, are both aspects of devotion to God.

How committed to Him are we?


Mount of Olives

Garden of Gethsemane

Early Christian pilgrims located the Garden of Gethsemane at the bottom of the slope of the Mt. of Olives opposite the Temple Mount. Byzantine, Crusader and a modern church were built successively on the site where it is believed that Jesus prayed to the Father hours before his crucifixion. The modern Church of All Nations has a beautiful mosaic on its facade.


So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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922. I obey my master. The question is, "who is my master?"

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