James Walden - The Exchangers - Bareilly, North India - 1977

Matthew 25:27, "Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury."

In this verse, the Lord is speaking to an unprofitable servant. Who are the exchangers? In what manner can we make an exchange that will please God? In the end of Matthew 24, there is a servant who is faithful and one that is not faithful. One is evil. The faithful servant is doing what he is expected to do and is watching. The evil servant begins to smite his fellow servants and to eat and drink and be merry. The servants of God do not smite one another. (At least, not when they are in the right spirit.) God never tells His servants to smite one another. We're talking about servants who hope to be right when the Lord comes. We are all servants in the sight of God. There are only two classes: those that are ready and those that are not ready. And how can we be ready? What is our responsibility?

Matthew 25:14-15, "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one, he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey," and then verse 19, "After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them."

After a long time the Lord came, but he did come. Each of us have been given talents. Talent is an important word. It is thousands of dollars so it is a great thing, a valuable thing. Each of us were given a great deal. Each one of us has a life - precious, God given - and faculties, abilities. Some of us have a great deal of ability, some not so much but we each have a great responsibility.

The first servant gained 5 talents more (verse 21, "His lord said unto him, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.'"). He didn't say exactly how much that servant was given but he did say "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." And to the one who gained 2 talents, he said exactly the same words.

There comes an interesting thing from the phrase, "joy of the Lord." If we think of this parable, what is the difference between the reward of the one who was given 2 talents and the one that was given 5? To each one was said the same. The great speakers and not so great enjoy the same things and we enjoy them all. When life is over and we enter into the joy of the Lord, we will all be happy equally.

verse 24, "Then he which had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed.'"

Does anyone here say that the Lord is hard and is asking too much? In verse 30, we see that the one who said the Lord is asking too much is cast into outer darkness. And what did this unprofitable servant do? Two things hinder many people: 1) to be afraid 2) to be ashamed.

This man was afraid to take a chance - kept it to himself and when the Lord returned, he gave it back to Him. Some people when they die say, "Well Lord, here is my life - You gave it - here it is, back again." That is no profit to the Lord. Where the Lord is there is light, life, and joy. To be separated from the Lord is to be where there is darkness and misery.

Now we come to the most important part of our story. What are these exchangers? We've been given our life, our natural abilities. How can we put our life to the exchangers? The answer is not far away in the Bible: Matthew 25:31-32, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory and before Him shall be gathered all nations...and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left."

The Son of man will come at the last judgment. He will sit some on His right hand and some on His left. He will gather all nations. Not countries but all people from every nation and among those nations will be a few individuals who He'll place on His right hand. We stand before Him as individuals, not as nations.

Matthew 25:35, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in," and verse 42 tells what happened with those on the left hand, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink."

If some had meat or bread, they could share. The sheep shared and the goats kept it for themselves. The sheep gave it to the exchangers.

Verse 37, "Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee or thirsty and gave Thee drink?'" When did we do it? If you asked people if they gave to charity, they would say, "Yes," they give to beggars. They give to church organizations. They would say, "Yes, I give tithes of all I possess." If you asked the children here if their parents give money to the church or take strangers into their homes, they would say, "No." But if you asked if they take workers into their home and give them meals, they would say, "Yes." What is the difference? The people that are actually laying up treasure in heaven don't realize they are doing it. They don't do it because they will be rewarded but because they enjoy it right here on earth. They enjoy helping the workers and these things accumulate to bring a reward in heaven; the very same things we enjoy doing here on earth.

There is more about the exchangers in chapter 26. Jesus is in the home of Simon the Leper. He opened his house and received Jesus and the disciples and fed them. Simon would say, "When did I ever take a stranger into my home and feed him?" The king would say, "Don't you remember when you took Me in?" He would say, "But You are no stranger." To millions round about, He is a stranger. We have open homes. The one thing mentioned in Simon's life was the day the Lord came to his home. Many don't have a home where the servants of God can come. The man that had two talents had a place as well.

In Matthew 26:7, "There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat." This woman had no home, so she came into Simon's home. All she had was the alabaster box and she did not hide it in the earth. She may not have had a house but she had something the Lord needed. Every one of us have some ointment that is precious. That is our testimony. She was willing to use what she did have to prepare the Lord to face death. It is like our testimony when we go to meetings. Every time you give your testimony in a meeting, God is entering it in His book so it will never be forgotten. The testimony is appreciated on earth and it is appreciated in heaven. It is a memorial to us. Would you like to have a monument erected in your memory? Being faithful is your monument which will reach to the ends of the earth and will be to your record in heaven. Someone had a donkey, maybe two talents, but he was willing for it to be used by the Lord.

We appreciate every sacrifice great and small that helps this thing to function. It enables God's plan to work on the earth. Some are workers, some have open homes, and the rest have a testimony. Whatever we have, let us give it to Him and let Him use it, that is what the exchangers are: taking our natural life and exchanging it for a spiritual one.