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An AD 30 view of the distant future (2)

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him [Jesus, c. AD 30] privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them,….. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property…..  Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25: 13-30 
Has someone ever bequeathed you something in their will? How would you feel today if that deceased person came back to audit what you’d done with it?

Jesus was crucified and rose again in Jerusalem in AD 30. A few days before that he told a story (above) as a parallel to describe the day when he would come back to them. The parallel was about a boss, a lord, who gave talents to his contracted apprentices before going away for a very long time. 

These talents probably varied enormously. Probably many were intangible gifts and attributes like goodness, kindness, love of enemies, willingness to suffer to bless others, mercy, forgiveness. 


‘There is none so poor in the church of Christ who may not impart to us something of value.’ (John Calvin, French theologian, 1509-1564)
The parallel story is by-and-large good. The boss returns. The one who received five talents joyfully says “With your talents I have gained five more.” The one who received two, joyfully says “Your talents have gained two more”. Each is personally told, “Well done. You’re good, you’re faithful in small things. Now you’re going to be in charge of great things.”

Do Jersey’s followers of Jesus Christ, contractually apprenticed to him, put to good use the good talents they have received from him? 

One contracted apprentice in the parallel story remained to be audited - the one to whom he had given one good, costly talent which took into account of all his abilities and disabilities. For the purposes of the story, his talent was silver – he’s been given 20 years’ wages in one go, £500,000 today. 

This is what he said. ‘Master, I knew you are hard. I knew you reap where you haven’t sown. I knew you actually get corn without planting it. I was afraid of you. I went away. I hid your talent in the earth. Here, have it back.’

Does that sound - reasonable? Jesus who made up the parallel story said that the lord and boss of this contracted apprentice knew that he was lying and lazy. If he really believed that his lord and boss was that hard, he would surely, because he believed it, have put the money with a banker so that his lord would have received at least some return on half a million.  He hadn’t.

The truth was that he decided to bury in the earth this good gift because he didn’t want, in any part of his life, for his lord’s talent to be seen by anyone.


‘If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?’ (David Otis Fuller, pastor, 1903-1988) 
In his story, Jesus said that the lord of this apprentice would instruct that the talent be taken from him and given to the one who had ten. The apprentice who had buried his talent in the earth, in the darkness, was himself sent to the darkness he had chosen. 

Sinner Syvret

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