“For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one — to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. “ ‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
Matthew 25:14-18, 28-29
Jesus continued teaching the crowds of people who surroned Him by using parables (a story about ordinary people doing ordinary things, but with a message that has eternal significance).
So Jesus tells a lengthy story about a wealthy landowner who left for a long time, and gave money to his trusted workers to invest on his behalf. Worker #1 was given 5 talents. Now a talent was the largest coinage avaliable at that time and by studying various sources I’ve learned that one talent was equivalent of between $30,000 and a million dollars. At any rate, 5 of them equaled a LOT of money. Worker 1, went out and invested and over time, earned 5 additional talents, liturally doubling his money!
Worker #2 was only given 2 talents-still a lot of money, but given because that’s what he could handle (vs 15). He too, doubled his money!
Worker #3 was only given 1 talent, and for fear of losing it, he buried it and never gained anything for even having it.
So, at long last, the boss-man returns and settles up with his investing workers! Workers 1 and 2 were applauded and by implication, well paid for their wise investing of what they were given while worker 3 was shamed for his cowardly actions. His talent was taken from him and given to worker #1. He was fired and actually punished for his inactivity.
So what was Jesus saying through this story?
Well 1st, I don’t know the actual, literal value of what the talents is, but what’s important here is the fact that the talents are VERY VALUABLE! I also don’t believe the use of the word that’s translated into English as “talent” is a mistake. As western readers, our word for talent comes from the same Latin word as this one does and reinforces the invaluableness of the measure of investment that God, Almighty puts within each of us! Notice also, that not every worker was given the same amount of talents to work with, but each was given what they could handle and be trusted with. One more thing-notice, that upon the landowner’s return, he expected a positive return on his investment. Wise investing was rewarded, for Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (vs 21) and “for everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough” (vs 29). But the actions of the fearful, lazy worker were punished, “So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents” (vs 28) “the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. (Vs 29)
Each of us have a choice: we can invest, develop and enlarge what God gives us to work with or we can sit and do nothing out of fear or laziness or even rebellion. So bloom where you’re planted as you take on the assignments and challenges that you’ve been given! Know for fact that what God has placed within you is very valuable and that what He’s given you to do is very important! No one else can do it as good as you can nor has quite the platform from which to do it!
God’s the Landowner and we’re His workers, His investors and His ambassodors (II Cor 5:20). He’s invested heavely in you-make good on His investment!
Think about it!