Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-30
““14) For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15) To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16) Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17) In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18) But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” Matthew‬ ‭25‬:‭14‬-‭18‬ ‭
We must be reminded that Psalm Sunday was recorded in Matthew 21:1-11. Jesus focused heavily on teaching about the end times and His return during what we call Holy Week. Some look at Holy Week itself as a time table for end time events. His Triumphant entry into Jerusalem celebrated by His followers, definitely started the clock ticking in earnest.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus gives His famous Parable of the Talents. The master about to go on a journey called in three of His slaves and entrusted each of them with His possessions to manage. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents and to another one talent. Then the master departed on his journey.
The one who received the five talents went to work and gained five more talents. The one who received the two talents likewise doubled them. Sadly, the one who received the one talent did absolutely nothing with what was entrusted to him. Instead, he dug a hole and buried it out of sight and out of mind. When the master returned, each slave was brought before him to give an account of their stewardship.
According to the biblical time table, the return of Jesus will be accompanied by what some call the Rewarding Seat of Christ. It is pictured in 2 Corinthians 5:10. This is when Jesus will reward His people according to what they have done, whether good or bad. It will happen at the beginning of His millennium kingdom on earth. The rewards may relate to positions or duties in His Kingdom.
This is not to be confused with the Great White Throne Judgement recorded in Revelation 20:11-15. According to the Chronology of the book of Revelation, this happens at the end of His thousand year reign on earth. (Read all of Revelation 20)
Don’t worry if this sounds confusing, there is plenty of room for different views on end time events. What is important with the Parable of the Talents is that Jesus makes it clear that His return will trigger a time of accountability for His own followed later by a judgement for all people and all nations. This simple principle holds true both with Matthew 25 and Revelation 19-20. The big difference is that Matthew 25 does not mention the millennial kingdom recorded in Revelation 20:1-10.
So let’s stand back and take a very broad look at Matthew 24-25. Keep in mind, this is what occupied the teaching of Jesus during Holy Week. Jesus devoted Matthew 24 to the signs of the times leading up to His Return. His main theme was hard times and great tribulation will proceed His return and He gave strong admonition to be alert and ready.
Then chapter 25 can be broken into three parts. The Parable of the Ten Virgins and the wedding celebration. He stressed the tragedy that half of the attendants of the bride were not ready. (Matthew 25:1-13) He followed this with the Parable of the Talents and a day of accountability with rewards or shame for His servants. (Matthew 25:14-30) The chapter ends with the Son of Man sitting on a glorious throne judging between the sheep and the goats. According to verse 32, all nations will be brought before Him.
The burning question from the Parable of the Talents is: “Are you making the most of the gifts and talents Jesus has entrusted to you as His servant… or… have you buried them and run off to do your own thing?”
This parable always challenges me. I take it seriously. No matter your view of the end times, you will face a day of accountability as a Christian! You will answer to Jesus for how you built your life with the foundation He provided. (See 1 Corinthians 3:10-15) Don’t squander the unfathomable foundation, grace gifts, talents and potential given to you “in Christ.” Make the most of it!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global