Jesus flooding His disciples with advance information about the future and comparing it to the Kingdom of God told them stories with the purpose of making them understand by coming to the awareness that there is a future planned by God for those who will believe and those who would not; coupled with the information on how to secure that future, knowing that there is a weight of responsibility and the serious consequences of neglecting to understand and apply simple and basic instructions.
It was one of the final warnings (prophecy as some would want to call it) Jesus gave to His disciples before He was arrested. It was also a time of encouragement to them because of the assurance(s) He would leave with them as the Passover approached. He said, “the arrival of the Son of Man will take place like in the times of Noah: before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away”.
Jesus expressed that part of scripture that says ‘out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, a truth will be established’ in driving home His point about that inevitable future without a time tag or stamp placed on it. One thing is certain and that is, the future will always come where the purposes and plans of God would be executed without fail. He expressed this by giving three separate stories and all pointing to the same knowledge and information.
He spoke about the faithful and the unfaithful servants in their dealings with what their master had trusted them with. We have three groups of people in this short story: we have the faithful servant; the unfaithful servants and lastly we have their Master. No one becomes a faithful or unfaithful servant over night. The definition of both words would have to be determined by their master because no one else knows what their master has in his mind. The picture given here is that the Master gives an assignment and the carrying out of the assignment to the letter will attract a reward to the servants.
The Master who is Jesus in this story comes back to His house unannounced to see how the servants were doing: their Master had put them in charge of His house; they were to feed the people at the right time specified. To their Master’s amazement, he saw some group of the servants who were doing their own thing, carrying out their own agenda: he called them UNFAITHFUL and EVIL and to the others who carried out his instructions to detail, he called FAITHFUL. The two groups of servants were both given a choice to make but each opted for his own in accordance with their attitudes.
The consequence for the choices they made was reflected at what they got at the end of the story. The faithful ones got more from the Master while the unfaithful and the evil ones were punished. The faithful ones are like the believers of today, who have accepted Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior. The unfaithful servants are compared with the unbelievers who do not accept Christ as Lord and Savior and their future will be like those who will end up in utter darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The second story He compared the Kingdom of God with was the story of the Ten Virgins, where again He became the bridegroom, the light in the lamp and also the extra oil in their vessels, signifying the third person of the trinity – the Holy Spirit. In other words, another dispensation would come and the Holy Spirit would appear as promised by God. The end of that dispensation, which is the RAPTURE, would be marked by the coming of the bridegroom for His bride – The Church.
The five wise virgins prepared for the wedding feast by taking extra oil in their vessels signifying that they didn’t know at what time the bridegroom would come but the foolish ones did not take extra oil in their vessels as if they knew the oil they had in their lamps would be sufficient for their duration of waiting for the bridegroom’s return. They felt the bridegroom would come at a time they had speculated.
Jesus said no man knows the exact day, time and hour that this would happen; the Father has not revealed it to the Son, not even the angels. Only the Father knows this.
To be completely prepared, based on this story, was to have extra oil for the light to remain on continually. Having the oil today is like having Christ in your life as Lord and Savior. Any one who has Christ in their lives as Lord would eventually be part of the people who will make up the bride. They are exempted from the wrath or tribulation that is to come.
He concluded this lecture of His coming by giving them a third story. It is the story of the talents: it’s another story of a man who went into a far country with the intention of coming back, but before he left he decides to give some talents (weight of money) to his servants to trade with in accordance to the abilities they had. There were three of them. He gave one five measures of talents, he gave another two measures of talents and one measure of talent to the final servant. The idea was for the servants to do something with what they were given, as far as their master was concerned. After this their master left and went into a far country.
Jesus is the Master in this story who is expected to come back one day; the servants are the people in the world and lastly there were instructions left for the servants. The master came back and was pleased when he found that the one he gave five talents to had made another five, the one with two talents made extra two; he told them to enter into the joy of the Lord. They knew the personality and character of their master. The master expected them to know him well enough to apply the spirit as well as the letter of his instructions.
The third servant did not follow the instructions of his master; rather he took laws into his own hands by digging a hole to bury the measure of talent he was given. He had another idea about what to do with what his master gave him. The master met with him and he told the master that, “you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not strewed”. In other words, he said his master was a man of high standards who hates carelessness, one who also demands the best and makes no allowance for errors. The man was afraid that he might disappoint the master and that was why he hid the measure of talents.
He didn’t realize that the master gave him the talent knowing that if he carried out the instructions given to him, he would eventually multiply what was given to him. He did not need to be fearful because all was in place; all he had to do was carry out the instruction of the master.
His master wasn’t pleased with him; he called him a wicked and slothful servant. He told him the least he could do was to put the measure of talent in a bank to yield some kind of interest. The master therefore instructed for this wicked servant to be put in darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The difference between the faithful and the unfaithful servant in this story was in the carrying out of the instruction given by their master. Jesus as the master has given some instructions to the world so that when he comes back, he would say to some who will adhere to these instructions, “come in to the joy of the lord” and to those who will refute these instructions, “throw him into darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
Behold, the Lord cometh soon!