If you’ve read the Old Testament, there is no way that the Gospel of Matthew can not speak to you. Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience, so he continually weaves in quotes from the Old Testament, constantly showing his readers that Jesus is the Messiah they have been waiting for. Jesus wasn’t the Messiah the Jews expected; they sought a conquering king who would overthrow the Roman government, who would bring a time of financial prosperity to Jerusalem and God’s people, and who would raise up His people to a place of prominence. Jesus, however, came as a humble king. He came to conquer the judgement we deserve because of sin, not (for now) to overthrow the kingdoms of the world. When Jesus returns, earthly kingdoms will be shattered and the kingdom of God will last forever, but as He began His ministry almost 2000 years ago, it was to put an end to the sacrificial system that was a mere shadow of how He would sacrifice Himself, once and for all, for the sin of all those who turn to Him, confessing their need for a Savior. Because Jesus called out the religious authorities on their self-righteousness, and because His actions continually spoke that He declared Himself to be God, these religious authorities put Him to death. He rose three days later, and by the blood of His sacrifice, we who turn to Jesus are saved.
As you can see, Matthew is a rich book with so many take-home messages. The timeless truth that struck me the most, however, comes out of the parable of the talents. This is a parable that most people are familiar with; a master gives three of his servants varying amounts of “talents” prior to his going on a journey. The first two servants invest their talents, making them multiply; when their master returns, He is pleased with them. The last servant, however, buries his talent in the ground; he does not invest it for his master, and as a result, the master is infuriated, and casts the servant out. I (and I’m sure, you) have heard many interpretations of this parable, but as I studied Matthew, I feel that God really spoke to me directly out of this story of the three servants, their master, and their talents. God has given each one of us “talents” – whether that is a spiritual gift, knowledge of His Word or the opportunity to serve those in need and those in the church. When we don’t invest those talents, we squander what God has given us. The kingdom of God is people; God cared so much for people that He died for them. When He gives us talents, it is for the purpose of investing them in the kingdom – in His people. Yes, we are saved by faith, and no, it is not works that bring about our salvation, but the natural outflow of faith is works, and God wants us to work for other people – for His kingdom.
I’m afraid I haven’t been very good at investing my “talents” in other people – in the kingdom of God. I’ve worked hard these last nine months, sometimes at the expense of investing in others. This time has been a beautiful time of being immersed in the Word of God, but now I have been given a “talent” that I am called to share with the world. While I’m far from knowing everything there is to know about the Bible or God (no one, no matter how much they try to convince you, can know everything about God!), I have been given this tremendous opportunity to inhale the Word of God for the last nine months, and now I MUST invest that talent in the kingdom – I must exhale the Word of God. I will be staffing the School of Biblical Studies at YWAM Turner Valley for the next two years, but I want my investing of this talent to go further than this – I want to invest in the kingdom of God and encourage the church in whatever way the Lord directs me to.
God is calling you to invest your talents in His people – in His kingdom. Whether that is by living out the gospel so that people will be drawn to Jesus, or whether that is encouraging those in the church, invest your talents!
Main Idea: Jesus is the Messiah, the King of the Jews, as was predicted in the Old Testament.
Reason Written: Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience to show Jesus was the Messiah.
Timeless Truth: God’s people are to be about doing the work of the kingdom so that others may come to know the Lord, and so that the church will be built up (Matthew 25:14-30).