The Lord is explaining that the day and hour of His return to establish His kingdom is unknown to everyone except to His father in Heaven. Consequently we need to be always ready. In the previous parable of the wise and foolish virgins the foolish virgins were locked out of the wedding. The wedding is analogous to the wedding of the Lamb in
Revelation 19:9 (NIV) 9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."
Now our Lord relates the following parable which is still on the same topic as it begins with, “Again.”
Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV) 14 "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 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. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 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.' 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!' 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 "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 "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. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' 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? 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. 28 "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
This parable is also about entering the Kingdom of God. The first two servants were productive with what the master had given them but the third was not. The third did not enter the kingdom as we see from the weeping and gnashing of teeth comment which refers to what we see in this verse.
Luke 13:28 (NIV) 28 "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
Although the first two servants doubled the talents they were given it seems that the master would have been satisfied if the third servant had simply earned interest on the talent he was given. You might say the master was more interested in the attitude and the efforts of his servants than with the actual outcomes. We can act in ways that are wise and the outcomes may not be what would be expected.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NIV) 11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
Nevertheless, we need to at least make the effort to utilize what God has given us.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 (NIV) 6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
I can hear some objections, some, “Yeah buts.” Paul was certainly aware of difficult circumstances and that is not what he is addressing here. The point is simply this; everyone needs to do whatever they can to please the “Master” and to provide for himself and his family.
1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV) 8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
As I said before I say again, you might say the master was more interested in the attitude and the efforts of his servants than with the actual outcomes. We must act in good, “Faith.” As in Faith, Hope, and Love!
You can look around and notice some people in difficult circumstances are an encouragement to others while some people in circumstances not as bad are always complaining and objectionable to be around. It is not required that they produce great things but it is required they do what they can.
So let us each take a good look at ourselves and see where we stand. Will we receive that prized accolade, Well done, good and faithful servant!