In Matthew 25:1-13 the Lord Jesus told a parable about ten virgins who all professed to be waiting for the Lord to come, yet we learn that “5 were foolish virgins” who illustrate “mere professors” who do not believe in the Lord. The “other 5 were wise virgins” who represent true believers. They show us that only believers are ready for His return and thus we read in verse 10, “Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.” The 5 foolish virgins asked the Lord to open the door to them but He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.”

In Matthew 25:14-30 the Lord Jesus told them another parable with basically the same message. He was teaching them that there are those who profess to know Him as Lord who are not true believers and their actions expose their unbelief.  Yet there are true believers who do know the Lord and prove their faith by serving the Lord until He does return. Verse 14 sets the stage for this parable, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.” The “man” in the story is the Lord Jesus who went back to heaven and the “servants” are those who profess to be serving their master with the talents he gave them to use until he returns. Each servant received so much money (5 talents, 2 talents, 1 talent…verse 15). The “money” illustrates any gift or talent or possession that should be used for the Lord’s honor and glory. The first two servants represent true believers who were good stewards and they used what they were given to further the Lord’s interests here on earth (verses 16-17), but the third servant pictures a mere professor who had no love for the Lord and thus he did NOTHING to glorify the Lord that he professes to know (verse 18). In verse 19 we read, “After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.” This, dear friend, could happen any day, for the Lord will come as He has promised, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12). In our parable the lord was able to praise the first two servants with these precious words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (verses 21, 23).

Now let’s read what the mere professor of the Lord said in verses 24-25, “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I know you to be a HARD MAN, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I WAS AFRAID, and went AND HID YOUR TALENT IN THE GROUND. Look, there you have what is yours.” Does this sound like someone who truly “knows the Lord?” Absolutely not! The true believer has “tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1st Peter 2:3). The Lord Jesus is NOT a “hard man,” but a “loving Savior” who took our place in death and judgment on the cross (see John 3:16; 15:13; 1st Timothy 2:5-6). Because the Lord loves us and gave His life for us, the believer is willing to live for the Lord and serve Him the rest of their life (see 2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 and Galatians 2:20). The unbeliever is a stranger to Christ’s love and grace and thus he not only has “wrong thoughts about Him” but he believes “it is a waste of time to serve Him.” The Lord’s words to this servant are in direct contrast to the first two servants, for He calls him a “wicked and lazy servant” (verse 26) and after rebuking him for not using his talent for His glory (verse 27) He says, “Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verse 30). Again, this servant did NOT “know the Lord” and proved it by DOING NOTHING. If he was truly saved the least he could have done is given his possessions to others (pictured by the “bankers” who may be missionaries or others engaged in gospel work). He had every opportunity to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” and then DO SOMETHING for the Lord who had died for him, but he chose to reject Christ and in eternity he is rejected and consigned to eternal judgment (John 3:18, 36).  (DO)  (540.3)