Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
c) The Lord Judges the Lazy Servant
(Matthew 25:24-30)
24“Then he who has received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground, Look, there you have what is yours.’26“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.27So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.28So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.29‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.30And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Proverbs11:24-25, Matthew13:12)


The wicked servant, in Jesus' parable, was disobedient, rebellious, and did not trust his lord. He called him an unjust lord who reaped where he had not sown. This servant lied when he said that he was afraid of his lord and trembled with fear of his anger. If he had really feared him he would have worked and prayed seeking his wisdom and guidance as to the best way to multiply his talents. But he lived indifferently and despised his traveling lord who called him to account when he came back. He dug in the earth and hid the talent that it might not be stolen. Money is like fertilizer, which is good for nothing as long as it accumulates in piles. It must be scattered. Yet the wicked seek simply to accumulate and secure wealth but such stored treasure will profit no one.
Similar to this is the case of spiritual gifts. Many have a lot of them, but they do not use them for the purposes they were intended for: those who have properties but do not use them for the Lord; and those who are influential and do not use their influence in developing faith and love where they live. Servants who have gifts and talents but do not make use of their gifts, are all like idle servants who seek to obtain their own purposes more than Christ's.
A man is either a servant to God, or a slave to his selfishness. The Lord's ministers should not strive for the sake of private profit, but sacrifice themselves to do the will of their heavenly Father, and glorify his holy name. Yet the disobedient work and live for themselves, pay no attention to God and do not pray. This weakens them and their consciences. They are like the servant who hid his talent from God, buried it, and nearly forgot it. Living without Christ, they become deficient in faith, love, and hope; sink deeper into sin; and become children of wrath.
Whoever keeps silent about the blessing of his spiritual rebirth will weaken his faith. He who does not love Jesus, nor serve Him, nor sacrifice himself for Him may lose his soul. Jesus was emphasizing the principle of spiritual growth vs. spiritual deficiency, warning us not to become lukewarm.
The Lord took from the lazy servant the only talent that he had, and gave it to the one who had many. Furthermore, Christ not only removed the talent from the lazy servant, but drove him from His presence and delivered him to his enemies. We may ask here, is this fair? God is prudent. He knows beforehand who is faithful in His service and gives many talents to the one that will do the service faithfully. He gives little to the disobedient. The Lord did not reject the wicked one, but gave him a chance to be faithful over a few things. He who mocks God and lives for himself should know that the Lord's patience will eventually end, and then the spiritual gifts will die out like the flames of a neglected fire. Christ depicted hell in this parable as darkness filled with fear and trembling, as Satan's followers attack those who disobey God.
People are often afraid to walk in the dark, especially without a lamp. Yet if you do not serve God with faithfulness, using your talents for the glory of your heavenly Father, you will have to go alone through the valley of the shadow of death. How awful it is to fall into the power of demons without a Savior.
God is light, joy, and love. Satan is darkness, unhappiness and deception. His true face is hideous, and looking at him causes horror, screaming, and gnashing of teeth. Faithful servants will have a beautiful face to look at when they finally enter into the eternal joy of their Lord. They will rejoice in His presence, and abide in the pleasure of their heavenly Father. Heaven is a place of joy and happiness. As Nehemiah, the prophet, said, "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I praise You because You did not reject me, but forgave me my unfaithfulness and slowness to confess You, and gave me the will to serve You. Help me not to care for my house and myself as my first priority, but to guard Your sheep with diligence, guide them, and care for them night and day. Forgive me my weakness in service, and give me wisdom and power to know Your will and act correctly that Your kingdom may come and Your name be hallowed in us.
Question
Why did the Lord take the talent from the wicked servant and give it to the successful one?