Parable of the Talents

Updated on November 9, 2017
Annkf profile image

Betty has been studying the Bible for over 17 years. She has been sharing her personal studies since 2005

Gates of the Kingdom

Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. | Source

Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus spoke many parables about the Kingdom of Heaven, from the Parable of the Mustard Seed, to the Parable of The Pearl of Great Price. There is a great amount of value in prayerfully studying all of the parables. In doing this, we often find that they all tie together.

After Jesus spoke the Parable of the Seed Sower as recorded in Mark 4, Jesus said.

And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Mark 4:13

Will you join me in examining the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, along with other parables that speak to it?

Ancient Israeli Coins

Coins | Source

The Parable of the Talents

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. Matthew 25:14

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Matthew 25:15

The Three Servants:

  • To one he gave five talents
  • To another he gave two talents
  • To the other he gave one talent

Notice that he gave to each one "according to his several ability."

God gives us only what we can bear. Jesus once told the disciples:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:12

He knows us through and through, and He knows when we are ready to receive instruction, and when we are not. He knows what we can bear, and expects us to make use of what He gives us.

Every morsel that the Lord gives us comes from Him, it is His word, and His instruction. All glory always belongs to God, so even our gains belong to Him.

Buried Coin

Buried Coin
Buried Coin | Source

The Servants And The Talents

I believe that God's word itself says everything far better than we can.

With that being said, here is the first portion of the Parable.

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. Matthew 25:16

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. Matthew 25:17

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. Matthew 25:18

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. Matthew 25:19

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:20-21

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:22-23

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. Matthew 25:24-25

The Action And The Outcome

The Servant
The Action
The Outcome
The first servant
Traded the five talents and gained five more.
The Master rewarded him with much more.
The second servant
Gained two more talents
The Master rewarded him with more.
The third servant
Buried the talent that he was given and made no gains.
The talent was taken from him and given to someone else.
A closer look

The Implications

Anything that God gives to any of us as we grow and mature in Him, should always lead to increase. The first and the second servant took the talents that their master had given to them and made gains.

The third servant simply buried what his master had given to him.

The result of doing this:

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Matthew 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. Matthew 25:26-28

The result was that the third had his talent taken from him and given to the first servant who had gained five more talents, and now had ten.

Everything about God's word in regards to His Kingdom is about increase.

The Apostle Paul also spoke about the gifts that God gives to each of His children.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:6-9

Paul used similar descriptions when he described the gifts that God gives to members of the body of Christ in Ephesians 4:11-13

All who are in Christ Jesus are given talents. Whether is be five, two or one, we should be using them to our best ability and making gains.

We know that the talents that God gives to us are not about earthly financial gain.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Luke 12:34-35

When speaking about the first, second, and third "watches," in the book of Luke chapter 12, Jesus spoke in a similar manner.

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. Luke 12:37

And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. Luke 12:38

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Just as the master gave the two faithful servants rule over his household, Jesus shows that He will do the same.

All of the gifts that we currently have, are given to us by God. The treasures, whether they be spiritual gifts, or wisdom and understanding, they come directly from Him. So when we build on the things that He gives us, He expects us to make gains.

The one talent that Jesus gave to the servant who was "slothful," and buried it, was taken away from him and given to the man who originally was given five talents.

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matthew 13:12

Before Jesus spoke the words in the above passage, He had spoken spoken the parable of the seed sower:

The disciples then asked Him:

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matthew 13:11

Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

All of the answers that Jesus gave to the disciples are written for all who will follow Him.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Betty A F


    Submit a Comment
    • Gabriel Agema profile image

      Agema Gabriel 

      2 years ago from Karu


    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      2 years ago from Ohio

      We should use our talents to glorify God. :)

    • Annkf profile imageAUTHOR

      Betty A F 

      2 years ago from Florida

      God bless you Charlie. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • celafoe profile image


      2 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      Good work, another EXCELLENT article of the truths of scripture


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