Summary of passage: Jesus tells his disciples another parable. A master decides to go on a journey so he calls his servants and gives each some property to them. One servant receives 5 talents, another 2, and another just 1. The man who had received the 5 talents went out and put his talents to work so that he gained 5 more. The one who received 2 talents went out and gained 2 more as well. But the man who had only received 1 talent went off and buried his under a tree.
The master returned and settled accounts with his servants. Because the one with 5 talents had doubled his, the master praised him and put him in charge of many more things. The same with the man who had doubled his 2 talents. The one who had received the 1 talent was chastised by the master. He had his talent stripped from him and given to the man with 10 talents now.
Everyone who has more will be given more. Those who do not have will have even what they have taken from them and be thrown into the darkness.
6a) Proverbs 3:13-15: Finding wisdom and gaining understanding or knowledge. You will be more profitable and will yield more.
Matthew 13:52: Learn about the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 28:19-20: Go and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything God commands.
John 1:9-13: Light, knowing Jesus and God, and believing in Jesus and God.
John 13:15: Following Jesus’ example–doing what he has done for us.
John 21:15-17: Feed Jesus’ sheep and care for them out of love of Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: Scripture that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness to be equipped for good work.
In essence, we are responsible for knowing Him and telling others about him.
b) Personal Question. My answer: He has entrusted my children to me that I am to teach and train up in Him. He has given me a talent/passion for writing that I am trying to use for His glory. He has given me a passion for His word so that I may share my knowledge with others. He has given me a husband to care for as well and share my knowledge with.
7) Five Talent: He went immediately out and put his money to work and gained five more. He was rewarded by being put in charge of many things and sharing in his master’s happiness. He was apparently hard-working, enthusiastic, and obedient. He was good and faithful.
Two Talent: He gained 2 more talents as well and was rewarded with more things and happiness. He was obedient as well, good and faithful.
One Talent: He buried his money in a hole, afraid of his master. He had the one talent taken from him and given to the man with 5 talents and he was thrown outside into the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth. He was “wicked and lazy”.
8a) We are told he was afraid of his master. He was overly cautious, not wanting to risk anything or lose the 1 talent given him.
b) God will repay you for the years lost and bless you. You will have plenty to eat and will be full. You will praise God for these wonders in your life and know He is God. You will never be shamed again.
c) Personal Question. My answer: In all honesty, no, I can’t. I can’t think of a time I have hidden my talent and then brought it out, used it, and was rewarded for it. I like to think I’m authentic and what you see is what you get. I try not to hide anything nor deceive. I’m not one to be frightened of consequences if I am following God’s will. There were times as a child where I was shy but no specifics jump out at me. I think I’m still searching in all honesty for my talent to be discovered.
9) ”For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” God gives you things. If you use these gifts, more will be given to you. If you don’t, all will be taken away.
Conclusions: Another dousy of a lesson with lots of verses to look up for the second day in a row! This is about using our gifts that God has given us for Him and not for us. And when we do that, we will be entrusted with more to use for His kingdom. Great lesson worth the extra time involved!
End Notes: In today’s terms, a talent would be worth close to $1500 and maybe much more. The talent was a weight so the worth of a talent would depend on if it were made of gold, silver, or copper. Most scholars estimate it at around 6,000 denarii or about what a day laborer would earn in 20 years!
In Greek, the word is a money denomination but we do derive our English word “talent” from this parable by Jesus (neat, huh?). The meaning has evolved to take on more than as a unit of currency. Now it can stand for extraordinary ability or natural aptitude or skill.
The servants were given money according to their ability but each was given some and still a significant amount. Everyone received something and it is only man’s pride and envy that produces jealously over the gifts instead of being grateful for what their gift is.
The first and second servant took action and did something with their talents. The third did nothing.
Note the master returned after a long time. We will give account and we are called to remain faithful no matter how long our lives are.
Other Bible translations have “happiness” as “joy of your lord.” From that sense it is clear Jesus is referring to heaven with God.
The third servant’s attitude is: because the master was so great, he was unneeded so he therefore did nothing. At least he gave back to the master what was his. So often today people think gifts from God are theirs, it belongs to them, and they can do what they want. This man is full of excuses. Some people today even blame God for their failures.
Note the strong condemnation against laziness. It is a sin when you are not working for the Lord. He accepts no excuses.
The man could have at least put the money in a bank. This would be similar to helping others do the Lord’s work if you refuse to do the work assigned to you. But he didn’t. Therefore, he was not of the Lord nor of a heart of Jesus so he was cast to Hell.
Here Jesus is saying: Each person in the kingdom of heaven is given a certain number of gifts and opportunities (talents) to serve God. We can either waste those opportunities or invest them in a way that furthers the kingdom.
We must be ready for Jesus’ return. One way is to use what he has given us wisely. We must be about the Lord’s business, not ours. What have you done with your money, knowledge, talents, time, and abilities? Sometimes it’s about what we don’t do instead of what we do do.