Much to the same point as the parable of the ten virgins is the parable of the talents, delivered immediately afterwards.  We see here the Lord distributing goods to His servants, each man according to his ability.  God is not an egalitarian, who feels obliged to give the precise same means to all.  He gives to one five talents, to another two talents, to another one.  Whether our gifts are great or small, few or many, what we have we are expected to use in the Lord’s service.  This is true for every professor of the Christian religion.  Eventually, how one uses the abilities gifted to Him by God will indicate whether or not he is a true servant of the heavenly Master.

It is noteworthy that in all this chapter, which the Lord will sum up by describing the judgment, that He seems to be dealing with those who profess His Name.  The ignorant heathen are never in view here, but only such as have some knowledge of Christ, and publicly profess to believe in His Name.  What we discover is that there are some who are true and earnest servants of the Lord, while there are others who are nominal professors only.  The nominal professor is the foolish virgin, the man who hides his Lord’s talent in the earth, the goat on the left hand at the judgment.  The genuine, transformed believer is the wise virgin, the man with five or two talents, the sheep on the right hand of Christ.  These are they who have not defiled their garments, and shall walk with Him in white.  The others are stony ground, thorny ground, or wayside hearers, upon whom the word makes no lasting effect.

There are great rewards for those who faithfully trade with the investment the Master has given them.  The man with five talents obeyed the Lord’s command to occupy, and exerted himself in the Master’s service, making some gain upon what he had been given.  Likewise did the man with the two talents.  Both of them receive the Lord’s commendation, and an invitation to enter into His joy.  These will rule and reign with Christ, because they were faithful to Him, and did not deny His Name. 

Much to the contrary is the case of the man given one talent.  The issue with this slothful servant is not that he was given but one talent, but that he made no use of what he had been given.  Had he traded faithfully with this small amount, he as surely would have been rewarded as the others.  But he was more fearful of losing what he had than of using it for his Lord’s glory.  Therefore he hid his talent in the earth, making no use of it, thinking that the Lord would be satisfied only to get back what he had once given out.  The Lord Jesus has no true servants of this sort.  Every one of His people is commanded to take up the cross and follow Him.  One cannot do so by hiding his talent in the earth.  If we are not occupying until He come, then we are not following the Saviour, and we will never enter into His joy.  The little that these faithless servants have will be stripped from them, and added to the account of those who faithfully exerted themselves in Christ’s service.  The faithless, wicked servants will not attain to that hope which they had professed, but which never transformed them.  Rather, they shall be cast into outer darkness with the devil and his angels, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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