THE FIRST COMMAND: BE FRUITFUL, AND MULTIPLY (Gen 1:28),
AND THE "HOW" OF IT (Acts 1:8)
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(Gen 1:28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [Dict: to make full or complete again] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
(Acts 1:8,9) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up [into the heaven]; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
(Mat 25:14-18) For the kingdom of heaven is as a man [Jesus Christ, the Son of God] travelling into a far country [Acts 1:8,9], who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods [Gk: that which one has: substance] [i.e., salvation]. And unto one he gave five talents [Gk: a certain weight] [any kind of resource that we are given], to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability [(many) abilities; differing responsibilities to be exercised according to each manís differing capacity]; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded [Gk: toiled: ministered] with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth [a common hiding place, then and now], and hid [Gk: concealed: kept secret] his lord's money [Gk: silver] [the metal symbolic of "salvation"].
The Living Bible: Money, as used here, represents any kind of resource we are given. God gives us time, abilities, gifts, and other resources according to our abilities. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have, but what we do with what we have.
The One Volume Bible Commentary: It seems better to explain the five (talents) more extensively of [or as being] all the gifts of God, whether called those [innate abilities] of nature, or of grace, or condition, or opportunities, or sacraments. One receives five talents and another two; one has a deeper insight into Godís word, or has constitutionally a more kind or liberal disposition than another, or is trained up with more abundant means of grace, and with opportunities of turning the same to good account, or with a higher station in Godís church than another. Christians are said to trade with their talents, when they employ them to the profit of their own souls and the benefit of others. The talents gained by the apostles were human souls converted by them.
The One Volume Bible Commentary: This parable shines clearest in the light of the circumstances. Jesus and His disciples are still on Olivet overlooking Jerusalem and the temple in all their glory. Jesus had foretold their destruction. What was the cause of that ruin? Because the nation had buried the talent God had entrusted to them, instead of using it for Him.
(Mat 25:19-25) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful [Gk: trustworthy: believing, true] servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord [two rewards of faithful work are enlarged activity and the joy of the Lord]. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. [their reward was based on faithfulness, not the size of their responsibilities; part of the reward consisted in gaining higher responsibilities with the Lord] Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man [esteeming Him such a one as himself; looking into a mirror: i.e., one on stony ground], reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
King James Bible Commentary: He could not have known the Master well to assume him to be severe and merciless. He failed to understand the real generosity of his Master, who wanted him to experience the joys of service. Whereas the Parable of the Ten Virgins emphasized ["vigilant" 1 Pet 5:8 (alert)] personal preparation for the coming of Christ [waiting for Him Ė our inward life], the Parable of the Talents stresses the importance of faithful service during His present absence [working for Him Ė our outward life manifesting the spiritual inward life].
King James Bible Commentary: The idea of this illustrative parable is that all true believers will produce results (elsewhere, "fruits") in varying degrees [30 fold, 60 fold, 100 fold]. Those who produce no results are not truly converted [specifically, those by the way side, stony ground, among thorns]. Those who deny soul-winning, personal evangelism, and church growth will find no comfort in this story. Those who hide their treasure (probably, the life-changing message of the gospel), because of a harsh view of the Masterís sovereignty over them, reveal that they do not really love people and, therefore, their own salvation is questionable.
(Luk 16:10,11) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
THE SERVANT WHO FAILED TO BE FAITHFUL
(Mat 25:26-30) His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant [failure could only come from laziness or disobedience to the master], thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury [gain: If you really feared me, you would have at least deposited the "money" with the bankers.]. Take therefore the talent from him [the unfaithful (disobedient) servant], and give it unto him which hath ten talents [the faithful and most accomplished servant; the reward of faithful work is enlarged activity (more responsibility), and "joy" v.21]. For unto every one that hath [faith] shall be given [more faith], and he shall have abundance [of faith]: but from him that hath not [faith] shall be taken away even that [faith (little responsibility)] which he hath [i.e., either use it or lose it] [Heb 5:11-14; 1 Pet 4:10,11]. And cast ye the unprofitable servant [the disobedient servant who fails to be faithful to the tasks given by the master] into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Living Bible: This last man was thinking only of himself, playing it safe and protecting himself from his hard taskmaster. He was judged for his self-centeredness. We must not make excuses for what God has called us to do. If God is truly our Master, we must obey willingly. Our time, abilities, and money arenít ours in the first place, we are caretakers, not owners. When we ignore, squander or abuse what we are given, we are rebellious and deserve to be punished. The worker who has no heart for the work of the Kingdom will be punished. God rewards faithfulness. Those who bear no fruit for Godís Kingdom cannot expect to be treated the same as the faithful.
The New Testament and Wycliffe Bible Commentary: At the time of Christís return, the believing remnant will be gathered to enjoy Millennial blessings, but those then living who have no real belief in their Messiah will be removed.
Commentary: "give it unto him which hath ten talents" = giving the unused talent to whosoever has the most faith is not the only qualification for the reception of other duties (i.e, the talent). The two "good and faithful" servants (disciples, believers), although each in possession of different "abilities" and degrees of proficiency thereof, were themselves both equally full of faith, but rather give the unused talent to the servant that was full of faith and also (the second qualifier), had manifested the most successful "abilities." The "good and faithful" servant who had received the five talents went and traded with them for five more talents; thereby, of the two servants full of faith, he manifested himself capable of bearing the most "faithful responsibility."
Matthew Henryís Commentary: That if he that had but one talent, [and he] be reckoned with thus [in such a fashion] for burying that one, much more will they be accounted offenders, that have more [talents], that have many, and bury them. If he that was but of small capacity, was cast into utter darkness because he did not improve what he had as he might have done, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy that tramples underfoot the greatest advantages? Those that have least to do for God, frequently do least of what they have to do. Some make it an excuse for their laziness, that they have not the opportunities of serving God that others have; and because they have not wherewithal to do what they say they would, they will not do what we are sure they can, and so sit down and do nothing; it is really an aggravation of their sloth, that when they have but one talent to take care about, they neglect that one.