For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.…
This parable, a needful complement to the story of the virgins; outward exertion must be combined with inward character. We must work as well as wait.
I. We have here AN EXPLANATION OF THE DIVERSITY WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS IN THE MATTER OF OPPORTUNITY OF SERVICE IN THE CAUSE OF THE REDEEMER. We observe the fact that there is such a diversity. These talents do not denote the original endowments which men bring into the world with them, or the possessions into which they come by birth. These are gifts of God; but the reference here is rather to those opportunities which have been given to men in consequence of their abilities and environment. In His bestowment of spiritual opportunities Christ has regard to the natural abilities and providential surroundings of each man; and as in the sovereignity of God there is a diversity in the latter, so in the gracious administration of Christ, there is like diversity in the former. No man has more opportunities of service than he can avail himself of to the full. If Christ has given you one talent, it is because at present He sees you cannot handle more.
II. THAT NEW OPPORTUNITIES COME TO US WITH OUR IMPROVEMENT OF THOSE WHICH WE ALREADY HAVE. By utilizing what we have, we get what we have not. The foundation of colossal fortunes have been laid in the taking advantage of little opportunities. The true method of increasing our sphere is to fill to overflowing that in which we are. So heaven shall give new opportunities of service to men who have made the most faithful use of earth. Faithful service widens opportunity.
III. THE RESULT OF NEGLECTING OPPORTUNITY.
1. What is said concerning the man with one talent. It is not alleged that he wasted his master's goods; he simply neglected his opportunities. He was not notoriously wicked, but left undone what he had ability to do. Life is to be made productive. Many are content to do nothing because they cannot do some great thing. He who buried one talent would have buried five, his failure was in his character.
2. He cherished wrong views of God. All wrongness of conduct is based on a wrong view of God.Two things are to be said:
1. The more rigorous God is supposed to be, the more surely He will punish unfaithfulness.
2. It is not true that God is thus austere. The love of God must constrain us.
IV. The SENTENCE PRONOUNCED on the unprofitable servant. Here is a clear end of probation.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.