Matthew 25:14-30The Voice (VOICE)
Jesus provides a picture of the coming reality of the kingdom of heaven. As they approach the time of His sacrifice, Jesus makes sure the disciples know that soon it will be too late; the door of opportunity will close, and for many the door will remain shut. He gives them another image of the same reality to bring the picture into focus. Once they were bridesmaids waiting for their bridegroom; now they are slaves waiting for their Master. This time they are given responsibilities that will be rewarded. The blessings of the Kingdom bring risks along with the benefits.
Jesus: 14 This is how it will be. It will be like a landowner who is going on a trip. He instructed his slaves about caring for his property. 15 He gave five talents to one slave, two to the next, and then one talent to the last slave—each according to his ability. Then the man left.
16 Promptly the man who had been given five talents went out and bartered and sold and turned his five talents into ten. 17 And the one who had received two talents went to the market and turned his two into four. 18 And the slave who had received just one talent? He dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money there.
19 Eventually the master came back from his travels, found his slaves, and settled up with them. 20 The slave who had been given five talents came forward and told his master how he’d turned five into ten; then he handed the whole lot over to his master.
Master: 21 Excellent. You’ve proved yourself not only clever but loyal. You’ve executed a rather small task masterfully, so now I am going to put you in charge of something larger. But before you go back to work, come join my great feast and celebration.
22 Then the slave who had been given two talents came forward and told his master how he’d turned two into four, and he handed all four talents to his master.
Master: 23 Excellent. You’ve proved yourself not only clever but loyal. You’ve executed a rather small task masterfully, so now I am going to put you in charge of something larger. But before you go back to work, come join my great feast and celebration.
24 Finally the man who had been given one talent came forward.
Servant: Master, I know you are a hard man, difficult in every way. You can make a healthy sum when others would fail. You profit when other people are doing the work. You grow rich on the backs of others. 25 So I was afraid, dug a hole, and hid the talent in the ground. Here it is. You can have it.
26 The master was furious.
Master: You are a pathetic excuse for a servant! You have disproved my trust in you and squandered my generosity. You know I always make a profit! 27 You could have at least put this talent in the bank; then I could have earned a little interest on it! 28 Take that one talent away, and give it to the servant who doubled my money from five to ten.
29 You see, everything was taken away from the man who had nothing, but the man who had something got even more. 30 And as for the slave who made no profit but buried his talent in the ground? His master ordered his slaves to tie him up and throw him outside into the utter darkness where there is miserable mourning and great fear.
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