Matthew 25:19
After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) After a long time.—Here, as in the previous parable, there is a faint suggestion, as it were, of a longer delay than men looked for in the Coming which is the counterpart to this.

Matthew 25:19-20. After a long time — Namely, of trial and long-suffering, and at an hour when they thought not of it; the lord of those servants cometh — Returned and summoned them to give an account of their several trusts. Thus, though the heavens have received the Lord Jesus till the time of the restitution of all things, he will surely come and reckon with his servants, and require of them a strict account of the use which they have made of their privileges and advantages, gifts and endowments; and will say to each of them, Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward. So he that had received five talents — brought other five — Having doubled his blessings and gifts by the proper use of them; saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me, &c. — He acknowledges, (as did also the second, to whom two talents had been delivered,) that from the Lord only had proceeded his blessings and advantages; that they were the Lord’s talents; and that, of consequence, he was accountable to the Lord for his use of them, and for all their increase, and was to depend on the Lord’s bounty for all his reward. Observe, reader, this is the main thing on which the fidelity of us all depends: for if we do not acknowledge God’s property in us and whatever we have or are; — if we think we have an independent right to dispose of ourselves or talents just as we see fit, without reference to the great Lord of all, we do as much as we can toward divesting him of his absolute sovereignty and supremacy; we disclaim his service, and set up for ourselves; presume, impudently presume, to trade upon our own bottoms, even with the very privileges and talents with which our Lord himself hath intrusted us for his own glory. This is a much greater evil than it may be at first suspected, and far more common than we in general apprehend. Behold, I have gained five other talents — Thy gifts have been wonderfully increased by being used according to thy direction and for thy glory. Here we have a second mark of fidelity in a true servant of Christ. As he acknowledges the Lord’s absolute propriety in him, so he diligently improves the talents intrusted to him. And this he perseveres to do, notwithstanding all the inconveniences, difficulties, and impediments he meets with, or even the long absence of his Lord. Still he keeps his eye intent upon his business, and still applies himself diligently to his work, never weary of this well doing, for he knows in due season he shall reap if he faint not; and that he must be faithful unto death if he would receive the crown of life. But these proofs of fidelity will always be attended with a third, namely, a readiness to give up his account. When a man is assured that he has acted with a single eye to his master’s advantage, it is with satisfaction that he submits his account to his master’s inspection, as thereby his honesty is proved, and fidelity clearly manifested. And so it is with the sincere Christian: it is with joy that he goes to meet his Master, and to give up his account, as having the testimony of his conscience that it has been his desire and endeavour to be faithful to his trust in the use and improvement of his talents, and that with simplicity and godly sincerity he has had his conversation in the world. Then with delight he hears of his lord’s return, and, not doubting of his approbation, goes forth with joy to meet him.25:14-30 Christ keeps no servants to be idle: they have received their all from him, and have nothing they can call their own but sin. Our receiving from Christ is in order to our working for him. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. The day of account comes at last. We must all be reckoned with as to what good we have got to our own souls, and have done to others, by the advantages we have enjoyed. It is not meant that the improving of natural powers can entitle a man to Divine grace. It is the real Christian's liberty and privilege to be employed as his Redeemer's servant, in promoting his glory, and the good of his people: the love of Christ constrains him to live no longer to himself, but to Him that died for him, and rose again. Those who think it impossible to please God, and in vain to serve him, will do nothing to purpose in religion. They complain that He requires of them more than they are capable of, and punishes them for what they cannot help. Whatever they may pretend, the fact is, they dislike the character and work of the Lord. The slothful servant is sentenced to be deprived of his talent. This may be applied to the blessings of this life; but rather to the means of grace. Those who know not the day of their visitation, shall have the things that belong to their peace hid from their eyes. His doom is, to be cast into outer darkness. It is a usual way of expressing the miseries of the damned in hell. Here, as in what was said to the faithful servants, our Saviour goes out of the parable into the thing intended by it, and this serves as a key to the whole. Let us not envy sinners, or covet any of their perishing possessions.After a long time ... - By the return of the lord of those servants to reckon with them is denoted the return of Christ to call people to an account for the manner in which they have improved their talents. See Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Acts 1:11; Acts 17:31.

Reckon with them - To reckon is to settle accounts. Here it means to inquire into their faithfulness, and to reward or punish them accordingly.

19. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them—That any one—within the lifetime of the apostles at least—with such words before them, should think that Jesus had given any reason to expect His Second Appearing within that period, would seem strange, did we not know the tendency of enthusiastic, ill-regulated love of His appearing ever to take this turn. God, in the day of judgment, will call all men to account for those gifts which he hath given them, how they have used the days of life, the measures of health, their knowledge, wit, memory, understanding, their wealth, estate, honours, dignities, relations, all their natural or acquired habits, all their enjoyments, &c., for the honour of his name, and the advantage of their own souls. After a long time, the Lord of these servants cometh,.... Either in a providential way, by a fit of illness, or in a time of persecution, and awakens the conscience, and calls them to give an account of their stewardship; or by death, when their trading or working time is over, and they become accountable for their whole conduct, throughout their ministrations; or rather, at the last judgment, when all must appear before the judge of quick and dead, ministers as well as others, and give an account of their gifts, and the use of them, to their Lord, from whom they have received them, and whose servants they profess to be. Which coming of his is after a long time; for seventeen hundred years are now past, and he is not yet come; which is a long time in man's account, though not in God's account, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and in the apprehension of the saints, who love long for, and hasten to, the coming of Christ, are desirous of it, and impatient for it. But though it may seem long, he will certainly come: he stays long, to give time to his laborious ministers to exercise all those gifts he has bestowed upon them, and to leave slothful ones without excuse. It is not to be inferred from his delay, that he will not come: he is not unmindful of his promise, or slack concerning it; though he tarries long, he will not tarry beyond the appointed time; at the end he will come, though it is long first:

and reckoneth with them; what talents they received from him, what they had done with them, and what they had gained by them. The things that ministers of the word are intrusted with, are things of value; the Gospel is a pearl of great price, or rich treasure, that is put into their earthen vessels; it is the unsearchable riches of Christ; gifts to preach it are spiritual, and preferable to gifts of nature, and providence; and the souls of men committed to their care, are of great worth and esteem with Christ; nor are any of these their own, but Christ's, and therefore must give an account of them: this shows both the awfulness and usefulness of the Gospel ministry.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 25:19-23.19. After a long time] Another hint that the second coming of Christ would be long deferred.

reckoneth with them] In order to have his stipulated share of the profits.Matthew 25:19. Μετὰ δὲ χρόνον πολὺν, but after a long time) So that there had been time enough to double the capital entrusted. The quickness of the Lord’s Advent is not absolute.Verse 19. - After a long time. The interval between Christ's ascension and his second advent (ver. 5) is long in men's view, though Christ can say, "Lo, I come quickly" (Revelation 3:11, etc.). And reckoneth with them (Matthew 18:23). The opportunity of labouring for Christ in the earthly life is ended at death; but the reckoning is reserved for the parousia - the coming of the Lord. The matter in the parable is concerned with the past actions of the servants of Christ (ver. 14); about the final judgment of the rest of the world nothing is here expressly said, though certain inferences must be drawn from analogous proceedings.
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