Parable of the Talents: What does it mean?

This morning I read Matthew chapter 25, in which the parable of the talents is recorded.  According to the MacArthur Daily Bible reading plan commentary “A talent was a measure of weight, not a specific coin, so that a talent of gold was more valuable than a talent of silver. A talent of silver (the word translated “money” in v. 18 is literally silver) was a considerable sum of money. The modern meaning of the word “talent,” denoting a natural ability, stems from the fact that this parable is erroneously applied to the stewardship of one’s natural gifts.”  

Have you ever had someone tell you that?  I remember hearing something along those lines growing up.  It went something like this “if you don’t use your talents/exercise your talents well, God will take them away from you!”How exactly you were to measure whether or not you were using your talents well was never explained.  I guess if your talents didn’t disappear, you could presume you were exercising them at an acceptable rate? *Sigh*  It is interesting to me that a misinterpretation of this parable is how we arrived at our modern-day definition of the word talent, when in fact it was actually a measure of weight!  So if this parable wasn’t a threat to take away your talents if you don’t use them well for the Lord, then what was it about?

We turn again to the MacArthur Daily Bible reading plan commentary for a biblical explanation, please read it carefully:

The parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30) illustrates the tragedy of wasted opportunity. The man who goes on the journey represents Christ, and the servants represent professing believers given different levels of responsibility. Faithfulness is what he demands of them (v. 23), but the parable suggests that all who are faithful will be fruitful to some degree. Both the man with five talents and the man with two received exactly the same reward, “the joy of your lord,” indicating that the reward is based on faithfulness, not results. The slothful servant (v. 24) does not represent a genuine believer, for it is obvious that this man had no true knowledge of the master. This fruitless person is unmasked as a hypocrite and utterly destroyed (v. 30). *emphasis mine

This parable is a wonderful explanation of how genuine salvation works!  No matter when a believer comes to saving faith in their lifetime, nor how much or little responsibility the Lord has entrusted them with, they receive the same reward: eternal life.  All believers will show fruitfulness to some degree or another; it will be there.  The slave who had no gains to give the master on the talent he was entrusted with showed no fruit (evidence of regeneration and a changed heart and life).  He was not a genuine believer.

The current liberal, antinomian, pervasive attitude that one can claim the name of Christ and profess to be saved with zero evidence of said salvation is a lie.  This parable, among many other scriptures, indicate that the result of the new birth, the regeneration one experiences when God takes away our hearts of stone and gives us a heart of flesh upon faith in His Son, will produce fruit in keeping with salvation.  A true believer will have a changed life and will keep progressing in sanctification until the day he or she dies.  Examine yourselves friends, to see if you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).  If there is no evidence of your salvation, then repent and believe!  May today be the day of your salvation!

Soli Deo Gloria!


Is it Real? 11 Biblical tests of genuine salvation by Grace to You

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One thought on “Parable of the Talents: What does it mean?

  1. You’re absolutely correct Jennifer. Sometimes when God seems distant, which happens once in a while, I get to looking back on what God has done through me over my 71 + years. A substantial part is time when I wasn’t a Christian but it is beneficial to review even that time because when you look back you can see where God protected you, even when you didn’t recognize he was doing so. When people say, “There but for the grace of God, go I” it really is a truth because I could have so easily have headed down a path that would have led me afoul of the law. Grace, shear grace. Makes you think twice on how to treat others who have also made mistakes. Our salvation is wrought by faith, belief in Jesus. Who He is, what He did and what He does now. What takes place in our lives thereafter is the fruit of how our hearts are transformed. That is the work in progress but there should always be some fruit there if the faith is true. Some five talents, some two, some none. I suspect some with one talent. It’s not the amount (performance orientated) but the reality of (faith orientated). I am so grateful for His grace. Blessings.
    P.S. Keep feeding that hunger for His Word, you can’t go wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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