What is the meaning of the parable of the talents?


By BibleAsk Team

The Parable of the Talents

The parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) teaches the responsibility of investing all of God’s gifts to promote His kingdom.

Jesus said, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.  And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.  But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them” (Matthew 25:14-19).

The master had purposed to increase his assets and test his servants in hope of entrusting them with greater responsibilities. Likewise, Christ has entrusted the work of the gospel to men in order to preach the truths of His kingdom and train them for more responsibilities (Matthew 25:21; Luke 19:13).

The first two servants showed that they were faithful but the last servant did not: “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents… His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant… I will make you ruler over many things… He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant… I will make you ruler over many things… “

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant…So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents” (Matthew 25:20-28).

The two first servants worked with wisdom and diligence. And the reward for their honest service was that they would be given more gifts. But the last servant admitted that his unfaithfulness was not due to lack of ability. He didn’t want to accept the responsibility for the opportunity he was given.

Many, of those that are given responsibilities, do little and like the last servant they refuse to use their God given gifts for God. Therefore, the Lord gives the opportunities and tasks that a person refuses to those who will make the most of them.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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