The Parable of the Talents
READ Matthew 25:14-30
Our second parable picks up more of the themes from the preceding chapter (24:45-51). What are Jesus’ followers to do whilst they wait for Him to return? The answer lies in faithful and responsible service.
“Talents” were Roman coins of high value. This parable gives us our English term for a natural gift. Here, however, talents represent natural or supernatural gifts. The crucial point is that everyone is given some talent to invest. The master certainly values what is done with all of his gifts; all are regarded as important and false modesty is not rewarded (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Everyone has a responsibility to develop their gifts, whatever the surface value. The talents are distributed unequally according to aptitude, though there is no hint of unfairness when it comes to the final reckoning (21, 23); then it is a question of what to the talents have been put to, not how much was originally received (26, 27). The value of the gift is insignificant compared to the faithfulness of the servants in using it. They, like us, are simple stewards of God’s gifts. These gifts are on loan to us. The third servant’s fault is laziness (Colossians 3:23; 1 Peter 4:10). Significantly, he does not seem really to love the master but tries to blame him. He is disrespectful and ungrateful. Security is more important to him than service. But sadly lack of fidelity leads to eventual impoverishment.
The first two servants receive warm commendation from the master. His gifts increase by being used (20, 22) and faithfulness is rewarded with expanded opportunities. It is important to be faithful in small things (21, 23). All of us are held responsible to invest what we have received from God. What are you doing with your talents?
PRAY Father, increase my love for You so that I may serve You with all my heart. Help me to recognize the gifts You’ve given me, and to use them for You.