The “talents” in this parable represent an amount of money entrusted to His servants in order to equip them for the work they have to do in His Kingdom while He is away (in heaven). In the context of this parable, it seems clear that each ‘citizen of heaven’ will receive different responsibilities, and it does not depend on ‘how much has been entrusted,’ but how faithful the servant will be over that which has been entrusted to him.
The two prophets warn the shepherds of Israel of God’s intended judgment on them. Instead of feeding the sheep, the shepherds fed themselves, ‘You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.’ Also, ‘Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and severity you have dominated them,’ (Ezek 34:3-4) . . .
Having laid down his own life in seeking the concerns of his flock, the good shepherd ‘goes before them,’ as Peter exhorts, ‘not yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock,’ (1 Peter 5:3). The pastor or elder should thus lead by example. His own life should reflect a clear example of how to submit under the headship of Christ in obedient trust even when disciplined (Eph 5:22-32; Heb 12:4-13), inspiring confidence, saying, ‘Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in (me) us, (Phil 3:17). [Insertion added by the author.]
The good news of the Gospel can never be severed from the basic understanding of the aforementioned principle – man is a sinner and is separated from God due to sin, (Is 59:1-2). This has always been and should remain the message of every one who claims the office of an evangelist.
Based on the principles of the aforementioned Scripture, we conclude that a good and solid teacher of God’s Word will dedicate his life in serving God first by living in fear of His Name and Word. Truth will effect righteousness in his own life – a living testimony of the Truth. The ministry of such a solid teacher will be accompanied by the presence of God and will emanate life and peace . . .
The burden laid upon the life of a true prophet can never be taken up voluntarily, it is laid upon the prophet by a divine act of God. The burden is laid upon us to discern the true prophets among us, for Messiah said, ‘He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward,’ (Mat 10:41).
Being an eyewitness of Messiah and His teachings was a key attribute and qualification of a true apostle. John explained this very distinctly in his epistle, namely ‘What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have held and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life – and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – WHAT WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WE PROCLAIM TO YOU ALSO . . .