“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.'” Matthew 25:14-29
“We infer that no manner of life is more praiseworthy in the sight of God, than that which yields some advantage to human society.” John Calvin
The Parable of the Talents is a joyful and sobering reminder of the importance of living as called out people in a responsible fashion.
Talents are gifts given to individuals by the Lord.
This underscores the fact that all people have received gifts and with these gifts comes responsible living because an accounting will be called for by the Bestower of these gifts.
- All Christians have received gifts from the Father. (Natural talents and spiritual gifts).
- We are stewards.
- There will be many that make bad use of their privileges and mercies.
- We must one day give a reckoning to the Lord. We will render an account of how we have lived our lives in light of the gifts that God has generously given us.
The use of our gifts shows the genuineness of our faith.
The final scene reveals that the worthless servant who hid his talent was not a follower of Christ.
- We are called to be busy investing our talents, resources, time and energy in the present context knowing we will reap in the future and in eternity.
“Such opportunities are moments of decision when we must choose to play it safe and get what we can for ourselves, or risk our reputation or even our life in order that God may have what he wants. They are hours of faithful decision when we cast the die of our lives for ultimate good or evil, though in the moment the only questions we may face is, ‘will this give me what I want, or will it only make possible for Jesus Christ to do what he wants to do through me?’” Ray Stedman
“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
In order to live with freedom and joy we must correctly understand the character of our Lord. (“into the joy vs. you are a hard man”).