131. The talents- Matt. 25:14-30, Luke 19:11-28
-First of all in the parable of the giving of talents we see that the Lord’s Kingdom is compared to a man who went on a journey and entrusted his possessions to his servants (doulous, slaves). Next we see that there is a distribution given out according to each’s ability but in abundance (a talent, or resource, was a great amount of money). Then we see either the produce of effort, or the squandering of opportunity by the servants. There is a “long” time before the master comes back and settles his accounts with the servants blessing the first two who produced double and chastising the one who was lazy. The disciples were near Jerusalem and thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately (Luke 19:11), but Jesus says basically that He (as the nobleman in the story) was going to be going away to receive a Kingdom for Himself and then return (Luke 19:20). The focus is on how the stewards of the kingdoms treasures use their resources to increase. The king was so hard on the man who didn’t increase because: 1) he didn’t share his master’s interest in the kingdom; 2) he didn’t trust his master’s intentions; 3) his only concern was for himself; and 4) he did nothing to use the money. *Application* Like the king of this story, God has given you gifts to use on behalf on His Kingdom. How bad do you want His Kingdom to increase? You have been given much and have the power to make a difference. So you may not have all the talents in the world, but you have been given abundant measure. Don’t squander any prospect to do God’s work and especially don’t throw your opportunity for salvation away by neglecting what Christ has done for you. He who has done more in this realm will be given even more in the Heavenly realm if they produce.
Verse to Memorize- Luke 19:12
132. Lazarus raised from the dead- John 11:1-44
-Here in the account of Jesus raising the dead man, His friend Lazarus, we see God’s power over death by resuscitation. Jesus is the resurrection and the life ultimately and anyone who believes in Him will have live even if they die physically (John 11:25-26). Jesus waited two more days in the place where He was after receiving the news that His loved one was sick, and Jesus prophesied that this sickness was not unto death but for the glory of the Lord to be revealed by it (John 11:4). The four days of death is significant in this account because by then Lazarus was officially dead according to the culture and should have begun to decompose. The Christ was moved by emotion we see, but it is unclear as to exactly what made Him weep. Was it: 1) His love for Lazarus and grief over his departure?, 2) Him realizing he was in paradise and would have to bring him back to a sinful world?, 3) His realization that many were in disbelief? Whatever the case, God performed a great miracle and Lazarus was raised back to life and a great celebration occurred with more faith (John 11:45). *Application* Jesus is the resurrection and the life and we have eternal hope in Him even when things seem desperate and out of our control. Be patient, wait on the Lord and He will reveal His glory in your life and situation. Don’t ever give up hope! He can be trusted.
Verse to Memorize- John 11:25-26