“Now after a long time.” This parable in Matthew 25 is about the coming kingdom of Heaven (cp. Matt. 25:1). The wealthy landowner who entrusted money to his slaves represents God, and the slaves to whom the property was entrusted is Israel. This God-Israel relationship is common in the parables. God is compared to a landowner, rich person, or king in a number of the parables, although the relationship is not spoken but implied (cp. the parable of the unforgiving servant; Matt. 18:23-35. The parable of the workers in the field; Matt. 20:1-16. The parable of the man with two sons; Matt. 21:28-31. The parable of the evil tenants; Matt. 21:33-40; the parable of the wedding banquet; Matt. 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24).
God gave land and wealth a long time ago, but He will not settle accounts with people until Christ reigns as king on earth. Thus Jesus accurately represents that it is indeed a long time between when the slaves were entrusted wealth and when God settles accounts on the Day of Judgment.
[For more on the future kingdom of Christ on earth, see Appendix 3, Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth. For more on rewards in the future, see commentary on 2 Cor. 5:10, “good or worthless”].