26 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? 27 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. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 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. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
This is the fourth and final part in a brief series on lostness. Part one is here, part two here, and part three – right here. My purpose has been to look at several passages of Scripture, highlight a few characteristics of lostness, and contemplate some implications. It is far from exhaustive, but hopefully helpful in getting you thinking about these things.
The verses quoted above are the end of what is known as Jesus’ “Parable of the Talents” (read entire story here). The words spoken in these verses are not pretty. They are in response to a man who did nothing with what he was given to expand his master’s business. Two other workers multiplied what they had been given. This worker, however, did nothing.
I know this is a parable.
I know parable’s are stories told by Jesus to make a point.
I know that every detail should not be dissected to defend or form a biblical doctrine.
But the implication of this parable as it relates to lostness is crystal clear: A lost person is one who does NOTHING to advance the business of the Father. To say it another way, a lost person cares nothing about advancing the kingdom.
A person who is ultimately thrown into “outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth,” misunderstands the character of God and refuses to grow His influence in the world.
The “servant” described in these verses had it all wrong about God and the way He works. A lost person does not understand, or “get” the greatness and beauty and majesty and glory of God.
Because of this, he/she has no desire to make this “God” known to others.
A lost person, then, is one who doesn’t understand the character and nature of God. Therefore, their desire to make Him known and treasured by others is zero.
As assumed followers of Jesus, this demands several things:
#1. Our primary job is to know the heart of God.
#2. Knowing God’s real and true heart will compel us to make Him known.
#3. We must pause and ask: “What am I doing with my life to expand His influence on the earth?”
If you don’t have a good answer – go back and reread the parable.