Parable about talents

Hello one and all,
I would like some personal input about Math 25 the parable of the talents. I feel this has much more to offer than I see. Open to any personal comments or insights.
Thanks
Mike

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Hi Mike!

I’m not sure how you already interpret the passage, but for me, the quote by Martin Luther “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” helps to explain the passage. When we are saved, the expectation is that good deeds will flow from the faith that we have. The better stewards we are of the faith and gifts that God has given us, the more He will give us to be stewards over.

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Thank you Joncarp will respond after more responces.
God bless
Mike

Hi @mgaplus4, can you please provide more context to your question? What do you already see? Are there specific aspects of the passage that are troubling you?

Joshua,
Without getting into to much detail my take has to do with stewardship. I know that at times others see things that I cant because of my life experience. Influences. Choices, and the way individuals think which is unique to that person.
Certain scriptures pop out different for different people. Similar to one reading a passage then weeks or months later seeing something different in same passage. The Holy Spirit is our guide and He reveals truth when we need it. To further clarify, when speaking to new zealous Believers at times they would say I didn’t see that. I hope I made myself clear to all.
Mike

Thank you Joshua

I think you are right on with the stewardship aspect of the parable, @mgaplus4. And I also agree that there is more than seems immediately apparent.

My thoughts are that you study this parable alongside the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Final Judgement teaching of the Sheep and the Goats (also in Matt 25).

Looking at all three together you see a clearer picture of the expectations of discipleship. I see several commonalities in all three:

  • The contrast of the foolish and the wise
  • The eternal blessings of being wise
  • The eternal darkness for the foolish
  • Anticipating the unknown (the wise virgins being prepared to refill their lamps, the servants recognizing the opportunity to invest the talents even though they were given no commands and had no idea of the return date, the charitable having no idea they were actually serving God)
  • Expecting that something would be expected by the bridegroom/master/the Father
  • Doing it even without knowing if there would be a reward, and what it might be
  • In each case the wise were proactive

If we boiled each one down to one verb, perhaps it would be WATCH / GIVE / SERVE.

So what might we be watching for other than the obvious return of Christ? I’ve just finished the small-group series, Experiencing The Seven Realities of God, and from that experience I would say we are to watch for what God is doing and join Him. Wise disciples of Christ are expected to be attentive and not be caught sleeping or unprepared. In this case being unprepared was literally leaving them in the dark, a very terrible darkness.

Certainly the 2nd parable is telling us to be wise with our resources and use them for the kingdom. John Wesley said something to the effect of, “earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” I think we can expand the general notion quite broadly and think well beyond monetary resources. Are we growing our faith? Our understanding of God’s word? Are we being wise with how we use our time? And is one of the wise things we are doing with our time and resources growing relationships? Are we drawing others to Christ and discipling them? Which I think is a question that leads to the next teaching about the sheep and goats.

All of the things the wise did were in service to people. They are more than just serving needs, they are relational. They have intentionality. The imprisoned cannot visit us, we have to go to them. It’s not a chance meeting, it’s clearly an act of volition – of our will. Jesus is telling the doers of these things that their will was aligned with the Father’s.

Putting all three together by being attentive we can recognize God at work and join Him, wisely use our time and resources and be blessed as God multiplies them, and see and serve both the physical and relational needs of His children that we come into contact with…and those we seek out to bless.

Those are things that came to me as I read Matthew 25. I’m sure there is even more to uncover, what is everone seeing in the text? What do you think about looking at all three together?

Some more questions come to mind concerning the wise and the foolish. Is this a contrast between believers and unbelievers? Or, is this a contrast between wise believers that watch/give/serve and unwise believers that either don’t or postpone it for another time? Or, maybe both?

These parables have a lot to say about both the here and now AND eternity. Perhaps someone can expand on that idea.

Wow I see what you mean I truly got a lot out of your post. I did look at all those verses and even looked further back in chapter 24. Based on context and actual chronology of events Jesus was speaking to His disciples which would give evidence to your statement watch, give, serve because it was directed to those who believed. If chronology is correct this took place two days before last supper passover. If we look at what you said we could surmise that Jesus was preparing them for what was to come after He ascended. I think after 36 months of walking and living with Him they were hanging on every word and had a good understanding of His parables. The audience for this book was the Jews which may have further meaning based on customs of the time. Thank you so much for your input and wisdom, perhaps others will give us more illumination.
Mike

Thanks. I absolutely hope will get more input from the community on this. Great conversation to get started, Mike.

A further thought came to mind that Jesus had not yet ascended which means the Holy Spirit had not yet been given. The use of parables were needed to convey spiritual truth with natural things. Also unlike other parables they needed no explanation. Thanks so much ,I hope this continues to grow with further input.

Thank you for the comments Jonathan, Joshua, Jennifer. Waiting for other replies but wanted to say thanks to you all.
In Christ
Mike

Something to consider here is the value of a talent. A talent in Jesus’ day was worth 6,000 denari, which meant that it was about 20 years’ earnings for a common laborer. Thus, even though the third servant was given the least to work with (apparently because of his master’s assessment of the servant’s abilities), he was still being entrusted with a substantial sum of money.

I recently heard a sermon on this passage, and a point that it emphasized was that the master took joy in seeing his servants share in his work. An alternate illustration offered was that of a grandfather who welcomed his grandson to help him paint a room; the child (and the servant) are not really needed, but it is a delight to the grandfather (and the master) to work alongside him. In the same way, God does not need us to enact His will in this world, but He takes joy in working alongside us. The master’s anger is rooted in the fact that he trusted his servant, and the servant failed to live up to the potential that the master knew he possessed, and he deprived the master of the joy of watching him grow and succeed in the work he had been given. In the same way, when we fail to use the resources and abilities that God has given us for His work in the world (either because of laziness, or fear of failure, or because we undervalue our abilities in light of the greater abilities of others), we make God angry because we have betrayed His trust.

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Thanks Micah,
I am a grandpa so that makes a lot of sense. I enjoy it when they help me get something done even simple things. it encourages me when they come along side… they also learn at the same time. Thank you for the new insight, It still amazes me to see how one passage can mean so much. The word really is quick, powerful, and sharp.
God bless
Mike

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