While We Wait
Rev. Adonna D. Reid   -  

Matthew 25:14-30
25:14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;

25:15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

25:16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.

25:17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.

25:18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

25:19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

25:20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’

25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

25:22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’

25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

25:24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed;

25:25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

25:26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?

25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.

25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.

25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

25:30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”



  • The parable at the heart of today’s message is another from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ teaching on the end times and what we should be doing while we wait.
  • This parable has been used to teach about the importance of discovering and utilizing your gifts and talents. Earlier this year, we examined this passage from a social/political perspective and in that interpretation, we found Jesus making some radical proclamations about the systems of oppression in place in ancient Palestine.
  • We talked about this in February right before the pandemic swept the world. We are circling back to it today to see what it has to say, what other revelations it might bring to us through the lens of our current experience with regard to how we are to live and what we are to do, while we wait for Jesus to come again.
  • To recap, there is a wealthy man who is going away and entrusts his valuable treasure to three of his servants to manage while he is gone. The amount of money involved is immense.  A talent was worth the wages of a day laborer for 15 years!  (Linguists think that the term talent meaning gift or skills derived from the use of the word in this parable.) To one servant, 75 years salary was given.  To another, 30 years worth and the last 15 years.  Each received according to what the landowner knew was within their capacity to handle.  The first two doubled their money and the last ended just with what he began.
  • The first two were praised and the last was condemned.
  • What does this tell us about God?
    1. God knows all about us and what we can handle. God knows us better than perhaps we know ourselves and generously bestows upon us gifts in different amounts.
    2. God can choose to be intentionally self-limiting, allowing us space and freedom to grow and develop these gifts that will impact lives and communities and ultimately bring God glory.
      • Sometimes God can be a real hands-on parent or teacher, getting obviously involved in this development process. Other times, God may step back, never losing site of us, but imperceptible in the background, God demonstrates love and trust by allowing us to struggle to help us learn.
  • What does this tell us about ourselves?
    1. Faithful living requires action (like last week’s bridesmaids needed to remain vigilant in their efforts to maintain their reserve of oil which represented the work of blessing others in word or deed). In this parable, the landowner knew that the last servant knew “what to do,” and that is why he was held accountable for his inactivity out of fearfulness.  We can be really good at knowing what to do without actually doing it.  We neatly tuck away or bury the precious resource of time, talents, love, in the ground underneath a covering of procrastination and fear.
      • Why?
        • We may feel like what we have is too insignificant to really matter to God or anyone else.
        • Maybe we resent what others have.
        • Analysis paralysis.
        • Fear of loss—to get much, must risk much. But risk is hard; it’s well, just risky.
        • Mistrust or misunderstanding of the one who offered the gift in first place out of a gracious and generous heart. He trusts you; your response is to trust in return.
      • We all have come together today to celebrate the greatest gift or treasure—the gift of the gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ.    Psalm 19:10 calls the scripture and its revelation of God “more to be desired than gold.”  Perhaps this parable was telling us that we have been entrusted with the key to eternal life and our job is to “Go therefore and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (28: 19-20).  Each of us has been gifted with different capacities for doing that, but we all have some gift to contribute to the effort.  While we are waiting, we are to be sharing the good news.
      • Thanksgiving is a great time to do that.  As you gather, even virtually with family and friends, while you’re waiting for dinner or for your next helping, share the good news of God’s love offered to us through his treasured gift, Jesus.  Do what you can to multiply the impact of the gift by sharing it with others.