Here is the Parable of the Talents and their True Biblical Meaning
Would you like to know what the true meaning of the parable of the talents is ? In this parable, the talents (or pieces of gold) refer to the Good News that we have received. Each one will be judged according to the way in which they have brought this gift of God to fruition.
The lazy servant finds no excuse but to accuse God of being too demanding of him. Jesus wants to make people understand the obligation but also the joy of participating in God’s action in the evangelization of the world. Let’s look at some important points about what Jesus wants to tell us with this story:
The Parable of the Talents: The Meaning of the Text
First let us remember that a parable is a story, a tale, taken from life, whose objective is the lesson to be learned. A bit like the La Fontaine fables that tell a story and end with: ” the moral of this story is that … “.
The story is seemingly simple. The master entrusts his goods to his servants, who must render accounts on his return.
The first two have doubled the bet thanks to their work. They are praised and promoted. It doesn’t matter if the reward was two or five. Each one bore fruit according to the gifts received and according to their abilities. The congratulations are not based on the profit of the teacher but on the work of each one, to his measure.
The third servant did nothing and buried his talent . He is afraid or rather justifies his laziness by fear of the teacher’s faults. He is blamed for doing nothing. If with his talent he had produced a second talent, only one, he would have had the same congratulations as the first two.
Everything you have, your qualities or your abilities, are gifts from God. It is up to everyone to develop them, make them fruitful and not bury their abilities, their possibilities, their gifts.
- The Good News is also God’s message : whoever has received it but has not paid attention to it will not be able to grow, progress. On the contrary, whoever tries to grow this relationship with God will not stop making it grow.
God gives his Good News and his help to everyone , but we must know how to listen to it, receive it and then make it bear fruit on a daily basis.
Let’s watch this video about the parable of the talents:
The Parable of the Talents: Meditation
This parable, Lord Jesus, has more to worry about than to give us hope. This poor servant, who had already received only one talent, now finds himself with nothing and expelled.
- Here is a master who seems to justify the reproaches that this servant made him when he told him that he was a hard man.
It’s just a parable, Lord. You don’t have the toughness of this teacher. He wants to underline all the fruits that can come from the goods that he entrusts to us. You want to show that you give everyone what they can use, that you don’t demand more of us than we can give. To each according to their abilities .
Each one has to work, with what he has in his hands, in his head, in his heart. Especially in the heart. Because if the heart is full of trust, the servant will rejoice in the service. He will give everything he has, everything he is. But if the heart is closed, it will not be able to give anything .
This parable that you leave us, Lord, is for our life today. Perhaps we have received a lot through education, through all the intellectual, physical and artistic capacities.
Maybe life is difficult, it does not feel like much. It doesn’t matter, sir. All we have to do is give everything we are, it is for him. To serve his Kingdom of love, to be returned as a complement of love.
Other aspects of the parable of the talents
Now, let’s look at other points that are reflected in the teaching of the parable of the talents. Each of the words in this story has a key message for believers. Let’s see:
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The parable of the talents illustrates the Christian’s responsibility to wait for the Lord.
Here are key aspects of the Christian’s responsibility in the church to wait for the Lord.
Wait and serve
It is not enough for the witnesses who are still on this earth to wait for the coming of the bridegroom, which was presented in the previous parable, that of the ten virgins ( Matt. 25: 1-13 ).
The next one, the one with talents, consider the side of service. Until the coming of the Lord, we must take advantage of the time that we have left and use it in an activity consistent with our responsibility. ” Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9: 4) , the Lord told his disciples.
The life of a Christian after his conversion takes on this double character: “to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven” ( 1 Thess. 1: 9-10 ). It is a privilege to be able to work for Him! The Thessalonians understood this well and by their means a powerful witness had been given from afar ( v. 8 ).
In the parable of the talents, the master does not call strangers or bankers, but addresses his own slaves. He wants to use them as he sees fit, to test his loyalty and devotion. We can also see the similarity with other passages, let’s see:
- They belong entirely to him, body and soul ( 2 Cor. 5: 14-15 ).
- What an immense grace to be a “slave of Jesus Christ” like Judas ( 1 )
- Paul and Timothy who call themselves “slaves of Jesus Christ” ( 1: 1 )!
- James also presents himself as “a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” ( James 1: 1 ).
- Peter and John refer to themselves as such ( 2 Peter 1: 1; Rev 1: 1 ).
The teacher puts talent in ability and gives to all means. Then, having entrusted his property to them, he leaves. Your responsibility is now directly engaged. Then we see all the activity displayed by the first slave. The word ” immediately ” emphasizes this.
He does not wait before starting his work, he is in a hurry to take the greatest possible care of his master’s property. Now, what the price for the Lord, which is not so much the results does not stop representing little of a thing – it is above all loyalty. She is rewarded, there is no question of skill and dexterity at that time.
Much later, having left his slaves all the time necessary to carry out his work, the master returns and does his accounts with them. It is a solemn moment. For Christians, this appearance before the Lord will take place during the first act of his second coming . This is the end of your wait: He will come and lead you to meet Him in the air ( 1 Thes. 4: 16-17 ).
The talents entrusted to him are few compared to the immense riches he will later give to his faithful slaves. ¿ What is meant by “the joy of your master” ? The most natural thing is to admit that it is the bliss and glory that the Lord enjoys, having completed his perfect service here on earth. There he will present his faithful servant ( Rom. 8:17 ).
The approval and reward are exactly the same for someone who received five talents and earns ten as they are for someone who was given two talents and had double taken away. The Lord does not measure the reward by the number of gifts He entrusts, but by the worker’s faithfulness to Him.
The wicked slave
The language of the evil slave who slanders his master is taken from the domain of agriculture : he accuses him of reaping where he did not sow and of reaping where he did not sow. He claims that he is a tough man, too demanding, unfair.
But he himself betrays the state of his heart. It is inhabited by fear of poor quality; there is no confidence in him in this teacher who nevertheless ” bought ” him ( 2 Peter 2: 1 ).
He does not feel love or concern for their interests. It stands before him on the basis of his own righteousness : “Behold, you have what is yours” ( v. 25 ). He even reproaches him, apparently, for having entrusted him very little compared to other slaves ( Luke 19: 20-26 ).
Evil and laziness:
These are the two widely exposed vices in the behavior of the slave. The master sees them in the heart of this unfaithful servant. However, he does not refute the accusation he brings against him.
He accepts it, sadly, but immediately draws a conclusion that condemns the servant’s conduct. In fact, even if it had been this harsh and unjust man, making his slave live in fear, he should have, precisely because of this slavish fear, at least make the bankers’ money worthy of his master. By doing so, while lazy, it would have done him less harm .
As a consequence of his unfaithfulness, the Lord takes from the slave the talent he had entrusted to him . He even loses what he thought he had: his “Christian profession” (Matt. 13:12) .
The resulting decision is justified: “Cast him out into the darkness; it will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” ( v. 30 ). These expressions are of pain and despair ( Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51 )
The meaning of the teaching of the parable of the talents for each child of God
Now, let’s see what is the meaning of the teaching of the parable of the talents for each child of God:
“talents” entrusted by the Lord
The man who entrusts all his possessions before leaving is the Lord Himself. As he speaks this parable, he will soon leave his beloved disciples. The slaves in the parable represent them here, as well as the redeemed of all time, regardless of their position in this world or their role in the Assembly.
The talents you are going to develop are a picture of all the gifts received from God . These can be natural benefits ( health, memory, intelligence, free time, material goods: Luke 16: 9 ).
But they are also ” spiritual graces “: the Word of God at your disposal, with the knowledge that corresponds to it ( 1 Cor 2, 12: 1, Peter 4, 10 ). This knowledge is brought by the Holy Spirit, sent to earth to the Church, after the elevation of Christ in glory, a sign of acceptance of his work (John 14: 16-17).
This Spirit communicates new life to each redeemed and through him all gifts are accelerated.
According to your capacity
The “talents” are entrusted to each according to his ability ( v. 15; Rom. 12: 6-15 ), with a view to their usefulness, especially in the life of the assembly. These gifts are entrusted to the sovereign wisdom of the One who searches hearts, measures our moral and intellectual capacities and knows perfectly the degree of receptivity of each soul ( 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7, 11 ).
In this world, the possession of a talent is already a great fortune. So Christ has given each believer much to a use for him. The more we have received, the greater the responsibility.
It is up to everyone to increase the number of these talents , to promote them. The apostle Paul exhorted the believers in Rome: “Concerning the), not lazy” ( Rom 12:11 ). All these graces are multiplied by faithful use in practical life.
The return of the Master will come unexpectedly, at least as far as Christians are concerned. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Lord will settle accounts with each of his servants. This will be the litmus test for those who ” claim ” to be his slaves. The simple lifeless profession will result in the rejection of these infidels.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
“None of us is going to live for him – even, and no one dies for himself; because if we live, it is in relation to the Lord; and if we die, it is with respect to the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die , we belong to the Lord.
- In fact, this is why Christ died and rose again : it is to be Lord of both the dead and the living … For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God … So each of us among us will give an account of himself. Himself to God ”(Rom. 14: 7-12).
“We apply with a desire to please him; because it is necessary for all of us to be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one receives according to the works performed in the body, be they good or bad. Knowing, then, how much it is to fear the Lord, we persuade men… ”( 2 Cor. 5: 9-11 ).
A session especially reserved for believers will take place before the ” Judgment Seat of Christ .” His salvation will not be questioned, there will only be true believers there.
- But his whole life will be revealed : the secrets of each heart and the fruit of each one’s work for Christ. There will be words of approval, comparable to those in this parable: “Well, good and faithful slave …” or of disapproval.
But not a glass of water given to “one of these little ones” will lose its reward ( Matt. 10:42 ). Crowns will be awarded to winners; others, alas, lost: “will experience loss” ( 1 Cor. 3:15 ).
- The redeemed will place the crowns before the throne, bowing down to the One who lives forever (Revelation 4:10).
- It is surprising to see from reading the letters how much the apostles thought of “that day” (2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 4: 8).
They dedicated themselves, embraced by the love of Christ, to please him. Are we more careless than they? Shouldn’t we be encouraged by the same reasons?
We understand a little what will be the joy of the faithful servants who will enter into the joy of their Master! One is also surprised by the terrible misfortune of this “wicked and lazy” servant: he was wearing only “the livery of Christ.” Translated before the great white throne ( Revelation 20:11 ), he is cast into outer darkness. What tragic end !
Dear readers, although we are saved, we can more or less resemble this evil slave!
- Are we sure that we have not selfishly, lazily, and dishonestly buried one of these gifts that belonged to the Lord in the ground?
- What will we have to present to him when he comes: full or empty hands?
- Will he be able to bring us to his joy, that of a finished work, for the glory of God and for the satisfaction of his love, “the joy that was before him” before he suffered the cross ( 12 )?
We must have the confidence to work diligently for God and not waste every one of the talents the Lord gives us to use in His ministry. Remember that it is a very big responsibility and that it will bring many benefits to your life.