Christ teaches us that will be held accountable for what we have been given in this life and how we have acted upon it. This is the lesson of the parables of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27) and the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
As Jesus approached Jerusalem to face His crucifixion He took the time to correct the wrong concept many believed that the promised Kingdom of God was imminent. He did this by recounting the parable about a nobleman traveling far away “to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.”
As we know, in the story, which we find in Luke 19:11-27, Christ is the nobleman, and the “kingdom” is the Kingdom of God over which He will reign at His return. A similar parable of the talents can also be found in Matthew 25:14-30. In each case we have a story of servants being given a sum of money, and at the return of their master (Jesus Christ) an accounting is required.
In both parables we are told that God gives us something of considerable value and expects good stewardship and a return on what He has given. And although Christ speaks of money in these two parables He is really talking about something far more important —the elements of spiritual character.
We learn from the parables that this physical life is a training ground for something far greater. It is meant to prepare us for our part in the coming Kingdom of God. How we live and use the gifts, aptitudes, abilities, means and opportunities we’re given in this life—is critical.
We will be evaluated on what we have done with what we’ve been given in our life. The slothful servant who hid his talent, having been given something and deciding not to use is, has it taken from him -- “even what he has will be taken away” (Luke 19:26). The same sobering warning appears in the parable of the talents: “From him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29).
Life is a very serious matter. We walk this earth as living beings created in the image of God, relying on God’s help through the power of the Holy Spirit, which God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Once we come to the understanding that this life is a preparation and training ground for a far different life in the age to come, God expects us to act accordingly and live each day with that purpose and God’s promised reward in mind: “You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:23).
The Good News Magazine