Parable of the Talents

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“It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them and made another five.  Likewise, the one who received two made another two.  But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.  After a long time, the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.   The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’   His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’  [Then] the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’  Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’  His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So, you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?  Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?  Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.  For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’” (Mt 25:14-30)

 

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The parable teaches five lessons:

  1.  Success results from work.  

We have a mission that God expects us to accomplish while we await the return of our King. We must work using our talents to glorify God, further His Kingdom and serve the common good.

  1. God always gives us everything we need to do what he has called us to do.

We are tempted to feel sorry for the servant who received only one talent, but he was given more than enough to meet the master’s expectations.

  1. We are not all created equal.

The parable shows equality, because it takes just as much work for the five talents servant to produce five more talents as it does for the two talents servant to produce two more talents.

  1. We work for the Master, not our selfish purposes. 

We should maximize the use of our talents not for our selfish purposes, but to honor God. The world is transient, and work is difficult because the curse of sin, but we should feel joy and satisfaction using our talents to honor God.

  1. We will be held accountable. 

The parable is about how we use our work to fulfill our earthly call. The unfaithful steward wasted an opportunity, so he was judged wicked and lazy. We are responsible for what we do for God with what we have been given, and one day we will be held accountable.

 

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