How many of us know and are familiar with what is often known as the Parable of the Talents? The Parable goes like this: “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. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:14-30).
In another Parable, Jesus taught about a faithful and wise steward. Notice: “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:42-48).
What does one have to conclude from reading the two Parables above about what God expects of saints? The one talent man wasn’t erring for only being a one talent man. He erred for not using what his Lord gave him. The stewards were judged based upon the principle of using what they were given as well. Let’s think on this principle with the little space we have left in this study.
As You Are Able
God expects us to minister, to serve according to what we are able to do (I Peter 4:11). Life does not give us any temptation more than what we are able to bear (I Corinthians 10:13). Teaching and learning is based upon what someone is able to learn at any given time in their spiritual journey (Mark 4:33, I Corinthians 3:1-3, and Hebrews 4:14-6:3). Even when it comes to helping erring saints (James 5:19-20 and Jude 1:21-23), we see that God only expects your involvement to be what you are capable of at the time (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:39-46, Luke 17:3-4, John 8:1-11, and Galatians 6:1). In these various subjects, and many others that could be stated; you see that God expects what you are capable of doing.
The Lord did not create a law for us today that is above our ability to obey. The fact is, the Lord said this: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:2-3). The term translated “grievous” means: “burdensome, grave: — grievous, heavy, weightier” (βαρύς; Strong’s # 926). The scribes and Pharisees were guilty of creating “heavy burdens” [same Greek word we just looked at] (Matthew 23:1-4). Our Lord is not like them. He expects from you what you are able to do.
The Law of Moses was a law of bondage (Galatians 4:1-31). That law was taken out of the way, it was nailed to the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:14-17; cf. Romans 7:1-6 and Hebrews 8:1-10:39). We live under the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25 and James 2:12). Jesus said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Let’s not take that law of freedom we now live under and make it more difficult upon ourselves than what our Lord intended (Luke 11:46).
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