1 Date to be preached: September 11, 2011 Text: Matthew 25:14-30; Romans 12:6a, 7a Theme of Week: The Gift of Serving Text Study Matthew 25:14-30 Theme: Gospel: God has graciously entrusted his people with gifts to advance his kingdom. Matthew 25:14-30 By grace the Lord has entrusted different people with different gifts for the advancement of his kingdom. The Lord thoughtfully gives each according to his ability. What he expects from all of them is faithfulness. Each has invested the Master s property with varying degrees of success. Each is met with the Master s blessing and increased responsibility. But woe to the one who has nothing to show for his Lord s investment! His laziness is evidence of his low regard for the Master s grace. His talent will be given to someone who has already proved to be trustworthy, and he will be removed from the Lord s service. 14 Ώσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημω ν ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοι ς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτου, Namely that, [the kingdom of heaven is also] like when a man is leaving on a journey, he called his servants and handed over his possessions to them, 14 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. (NIV) γὰρ This would be explanatory to Jesus comment in v. 13 ἀποδημω ν pres. act. part. circumstantial temp. to journey away from one s home or home country, implying for a considerable period of time and at quite a distance to leave home on a journey, to be away from home on a journey. Louw and Nida (LN) ὑπάρχοντα that which constitutes someone s possession possessions, property. LN 15 καὶ ω μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα, ω δὲ δύο, ω δὲ ἕν, ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. And to one he gave 5 talents, to another 2, to another 1, to each according to his own ability and he went on his journey. 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.
2 Note the men de de construction Τάλαντα a Greek monetary unit (also a unit of weight) with a value which fluctuated, depending upon the particular monetary system which prevailed at a particular period of time (a silver talent was worth approximately six thousand denarii [Remember a denarius was a day s wages.] with gold talents worth at least thirty times that much) In Mt 25:15-28 what is important is the relative number of talents or sums of money. In a number of translations the respective amounts are stated in terms of local currency. For example, in English one may speak of five thousand dollars as equivalent to five talents, though in terms of buying power, five talents would be worth much more than five thousand dollars. What is important, however, in this story is not the precise sums of money but the relative amount which was given to the different servants. LN εὐθέως 16 πορευθεὶς ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν ἠργάσατο ἐν αὐτοι ς καὶ ἐκέρδησεν ἄλλα πέντε immediately the one who had received 5 talents went and traded with them and earned another 5; 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. εὐθέως If this word goes with v. 15, it refers to the master s leaving immediately. However the context of the parable seems to place the word more naturally with v. 16 as it speaks to the immediate action of the faithful servant. Πορευθεὶς aor. dep. part. Circumstantial preliminary go ἠργάσατο aor. mid. ind. to be involved in business, with focus upon the work which is involved to do business, to trade, work, business. LN ἐκέρδησεν aor. act. ind. to gain by means of one s activity or investment to earn, to gain, to make a profit. 17 ὡσαύτως ὁ τὰ δύο ἐκέρδησεν ἄλλα δύο. Likewise the one with the two earned another two. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 ὁ δὲ τὸ ἓν λαβὼν ἀπελθὼν ὤρυξεν γη ν καὶ ἔκρυψεν τὸ ἀργύριον του κυρίου αὐτου. But the one who received the one went out and dug in the ground and hid the silver money of his master. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master s money.
3 ὤρυξεν aor. act. ind. to make a hole in the ground and to remove earth with some sharp-edged instrument (for example, a pick or spade) to dig, to excavate. LN 19 μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τω ν δούλων ἐκείνων καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετʼ αὐτω ν. And after much time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 19 After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. συναίρει pres. act. ind. to settle or check on accounts with someone to check on accounts, to settle accounts. LN 20 καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν προσήνεγκεν ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα λέγων, Κύριε, πέντε τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκασ ἴδε ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα. And the one who had received 5 talents came to him and brought 5 more talents to him saying, Master, 5 talents you handed over to me; see, 5 more talents I earned. 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. προσήνεγκεν Aor. Act. Ind. Of προσφέρω to carry or bring something into the presence of someone, usually implying a transfer of something to that person to carry to, to bring (to). LN 21 ἔφη αὐτω ὁ κύριος αὐτου, Ευ, δου λε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα η ς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλω ν σε καταστήσω εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν του κυρίου σου. His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant, with few things you were faithful. I will appoint you over many things; enter the joy of your master. 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! καταστήσω fut. act. ind. to assign to someone a position of authority over others to put in charge of, to appoint, to designate. LN 22 προσελθὼν [δὲ] καὶ ὁ τὰ δύο τάλαντα ει πεν, Κύριε, δύο τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκασ ἴδε ἄλλα δύο τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα.
4 And the one with 2 talents came to him and said, Lord, 2 talents you handed over to me; see, 2 more talents I earned. 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 ἔφη αὐτω ὁ κύριος αὐτου, Ευ, δου λε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα η ς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλω ν σε καταστήσω εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν του κυρίου σου. His master said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant, with few things you were faithful. I will appoint you over many things; enter into the joy of your master. 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 προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς ει πεν, Κύριε, ἔγνων σε ὅτι σκληρὸς ει ἄνθρωπος, θερίζων ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρας καὶ συνάγων ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισας, And the one who had received the one came to him and said, Master, I knew that you are a hard man, as you reap where you did not sow and gather where you have not scattered seed, 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. εἰληφὼς perf. act. part. From λαμβάνω σκληρὸς 1. The adj. derives from the stem sqel- to dry (up), to desiccate, with which skeleton is connected; it means dry, arid, hard, rough, unyielding. 2. b. of persons: a harsh, hard, austere, strict, unmerciful man. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [TDNT] 25 καὶ φοβηθεὶς ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τη γη ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν. and because I was afraid, I went out and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have yours. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. 26 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος αὐτου ει πεν αὐτω, Πονηρὲ δου λε καὶ ὀκνηρέ, ᾔδεις ὅτι θερίζω ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρα καὶ συνάγω ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισα;
5 And his master answered and said to him, wicked servant and lazy, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed? 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? ὀκνηρέ In the NT a. occurs at Mt. 25:26 in an eschatological context. The slothful servant, who cannot overcome his distaste for responsible effort, is an image of the Christian who hesitates to put his divinely imparted gift actively to work during the testing period of earthly life. This sloth is a serious matter because it ignores and neglects the responsibility which the righteous must display in face of God s eternal judgment. In R. 12:11 Paul significantly relates the warning against sloth to the admonition to be inspired and directed by the Spirit. To yield to the promptings of carnal indolence is for Christians an offense against the Spirit who enables and obligates them to overcome themselves. TDNT 27 ἔδει σε ου ν βαλει ν τὰ ἀργύριά μου τοι ς τραπεζίταις, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐγὼ ἐκομισάμην ἂν τὸ ἐμὸν σὺν τόκῳ. Then it was necessary for you to deposit my money with the bankers, and when I came I would have received what is mine with interest. 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. βαλει ν aor. act. inf. τόκῳ to deposit money with a banker, with the intent of earning interest to deposit, to put in a bank. LN the interest on money that has been loaned interest. LN 28 ἄρατε ου ν ἀπʼ αὐτου τὸ τάλαντον καὶ δότε τω ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα Then take from him the talent and give it to the one who has ten talents; 28 Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. αἴρω ἀπό (an idiom, literally to take from ) to cause someone to no longer experience something to take away from, to remove from. LN 29 τω γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται καὶ περισσευθήσεται, του δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπʼ αὐτου. Because to all who have, it will be given and he will have an abundance. But to the one who does not have even what he has will be taken away from him.
6 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. ἀρθήσεται fut pas. ind. From ἀiρεw 30 καὶ τὸν ἀχρει ον δου λον ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον ἐκει ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τω ν ὀδόντων. and the worthless servant throw out into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ἀχρει ον pertaining to not being useful useless, not useful, worthless. LN Main thoughts: God gives everyone gifts Those gifts are different and unique We are to be faithful in the use of his gifts Possible maladies: Sin that does not deserve the blessings of God Sin that abuses or neglects the blessings we are given unfaithfulness Possible remedy: Yet God blesses so richly grace Jesus sacrifice purifies the use of our talents Possible applications: Recognize the grace and generosity of God Be faithful in using your gifts