Matthew 25 The Parable of the Talents

Sir_Orphiel

New Member
So I was reading Matthew 24 and 25 yesterday morning before I fell asleep (I'm a night owl with a 3rd shift job lol), and I couldn't help but notice how stumped I was at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

It succeeds the Parable of the Ten Virgins, but I'm confused as to the outcome of the 3rd servant, who hid his talent away in the earth, and the master being disappointed with him. This caused the 3rd servant to be thrown into, "outer darkness," Jesus' euphemism for hell.

I believe we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ upon asking Him to be our Savior, and believing the death, burial, and resurrection. The parable just sounds to me like faith in Jesus alone isn't enough, but we must also work to keep that faith. Or am I completely off the mark? Any help with this study would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm not sure if this has been talked about before. I'm new here, although I roamed the boards for a while and am glad now to be here :)
 

Goodboy

Won't Be Long Now!
So I was reading Matthew 24 and 25 yesterday morning before I fell asleep (I'm a night owl with a 3rd shift job lol), and I couldn't help but notice how stumped I was at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

It succeeds the Parable of the Ten Virgins, but I'm confused as to the outcome of the 3rd servant, who hid his talent away in the earth, and the master being disappointed with him. This caused the 3rd servant to be thrown into, "outer darkness," Jesus' euphemism for hell.

I believe we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ upon asking Him to be our Savior, and believing the death, burial, and resurrection. The parable just sounds to me like faith in Jesus alone isn't enough, but we must also work to keep that faith. Or am I completely off the mark? Any help with this study would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm not sure if this has been talked about before. I'm new here, although I roamed the boards for a while and am glad now to be here :)
Welcome Sir_Orphiel :hug

I will take a crack at an answer for you. First let me give you a rule that you should follow when reading the bible.

Never let what is implied override that which is clearly stated. The bible clearly says that salvation is a FREE GIFT!

Regarding the parable, so the bible many times gives you many facts all or sometimes only some of which are relevant to the outcome.

So here are the verses you are referring to.
Mat 25:24 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:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26 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:
Mat 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.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

While I do believe that the servant with one talent was not saved, the question becomes why? Is it because he did not manage what he was given or was it because of his view of the Lord? The servant tells what he knew the Lord was like in verse 24, but is that a description of the Lord we know? This servant was not saved because he did not know the Lord. It's kind of like those who believe in God, but not the same God we believe in which includes Jesus Christ. They believe in a man made version of God coming from their own imagination.
 
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Andy C

Well-Known Member
Another point to keep in mind is most end time teachers believe the parables of the ten virgins and the talents both are written as taking place during the tribulation, and mainly during the second half. Salvation is not the same for tribulation saints as it is for the church.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
From Jack

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

The Lord’s use of parables always gets my interest. A parable is a fictional story meant to illustrate a principle or truth. The word parable comes from the Greek parabollo, which literally means “to throw alongside.” Aesop’s fables demonstrate a secular application of this teaching method.

The Lord Jesus wasn’t the first to use parables in His teaching, (there are many in the Old Testament) but He sure elevated their importance in communicating biblical truths to His listeners. I’ve heard His use of parables described as “putting a heavenly truth into an earthly context.” His parables often angered the religious leaders of His day because they got the point of the story, and it was usually critical of them.

What Does That Mean?​

In interpreting a parable, remember that everyone and everything in the story is symbolic of something else. The key that unlocks the symbolism is found either within the context or elsewhere in scripture. One nice thing about the Bible is that things used symbolically in one place are generally used in the same way through out. Leaven (or yeast) always symbolizes sin. Adultery and fornication always symbolize the worship of other gods; a spiritual unfaithfulness. Theologians call this the principle of expositional constancy. Observing these guidelines will help you correctly interpret parables and increase your overall knowledge of scripture at the same time.

Are You Talented?​

So we have three guidelines in interpreting parables; context, scripture, and expositional constancy. Failure to follow them causes us to miss the point. For example, look at the way the Parable of the Talents has been interpreted, or should I say miss-interpreted. One problem is that talent is also an English word meaning a skill or ability. But in the Greek language a talent was a unit of measure, often defining an amount of money. Since everything in a parable is symbolic of something else, to think of the talents as symbolizing either skills or money is wrong, and really distorts the message of the parable. Instead, think of the talent as symbolizing something of great value to the Lord; something that belonged to Him, and that He entrusted to His servants while He was away. You can see that neither skills nor money correctly define the symbolic talents.

Context, Context​

Now notice the time frame the Lord refers to. The word “again” in Matt 25:15identifies the time of the story as being the same as in the previous story, the Parable of the 10 Bridesmaids. That parable begins with the phrase “at that time” so you have to keep going back all the way to Matt 24:21 and 29 to discover that the time about which He is teaching occurs after the end of Great Tribulation, when He comes back to establish His kingdom.

What will the situation on Earth be at that time? Follow the parable. He will have been gone for a long time and will have just come back. He will have left some valuable property of His in the care of various servants, and some will have multiplied their share while others will have buried theirs. He is now requiring an accounting of them that will determine their destiny. The context tells us a lot, but what property of His is symbolized by the talents?

Is That Scriptural?​

This is where using scripture to interpret scripture comes in. We know from scripture that money is not important to the Lord, and that His achievements are not limited by whatever skill we have and are willing to apply to accomplish His ends. But is there something of His, something extremely valuable to Him, prized even above His name, that he has entrusted to us, and that will be buried and all but lost to many at the end of the age?

So What’s The Answer?​

The answer is found in Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name (KJV).” But from Amos 8:11 we discover that “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land– not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” And in Isaiah 55:10-12 we are told that His word, once invested, will always bring a return. It is His most valued possession, He left it with us, and He expects us to invest it.(Matt 28:16-20)

But the last days will be a time of deception so great that most of those alive on earth will succumb to a system of lies that will literally turn black into white; darkness into light; and therefore life into death. The only reference point for truth will be His Word, and many of those with whom it has been entrusted will have rendered it so meaningless as to be buried.

Acting in the authority of the Lamb, but speaking the words of the Dragon, they’ll try to prevent their flocks from learning the Truth. The fact that those servants will have proven themselves to be impostors from the beginning is shown by their destiny; “outside in the darkness.” The one and only unforgivable sin after all, is unbelief.

Summary, Please​

So the talents represent His Word, the Gospel of our Salvation. Those who sow it liberally into the hearts of their listeners find it multiplies. Where there were five, ten now appear. Where there were two, now there are four. Those who simply study it find their understanding multiplies. Richer and deeper meanings appear from passages they thought were familiar. Over and over they discover that as their understanding grows their faith deepens.

Those who bury it and pay no attention find its value diminishes the longer they ignore it. Not only are their friends and neighbors deprived by their lack of communication, but they themselves lose insight and understanding. Finally even what little they had is taken from them.

And so the old principle “Use it or Lose it” comes back into play at the End of the Age. Keep in mind we’re talking about a time after the Church has left the Earth. The doctrine of Eternal Security expires with our departure and those left behind will be responsible for maintaining their faith (Rev. 16:14)

And that’s the lesson of the Parable of the Talents. (Revised 06-05-04)

https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/parables/the-parable-of-the-talents/
 

Goodboy

Won't Be Long Now!
I should add that there are two different things that this parable is referring to, which are salvation and works.
The first two groups (5 talents and 2 talents) both knew who God is and did what God asked. The third group (1 talent) did not know the correct God and did not do what God asked.

1a. If you both know God and do what he asks of you he will say "Well done, good and faithful servant" and reward you.
Mat 25:21 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.
Mat 25:23 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.

1b. If you know God and don't do what he asks of you he will say "Thou slothful servant", but you will still be saved.
Mat 25:26 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:

2. If you don't know God (know the correct God you are believing in) you will not be saved.
Mat 25:24 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:
Mat 25:26 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:

The group with one talent knew of a different man made up God who was hard and reaped where he did not sow, not the true loving God.

Here is the whole passage for anyone who is not familiar with the parable.
The Parable of the Talents

Mat 25:14 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.
Mat 25:15 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.
Mat 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20 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.
Mat 25:21 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.
Mat 25:22 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.
Mat 25:23 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.
Mat 25:24 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:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26 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:
Mat 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.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 

Blue Sky

Well-Known Member
It's a simple parable with a simple answer. People tend to overcomplicate parables when they think every minor detail has significance, but the most important thing in figuring out what a parable means is the given interpretation that often follows the parable itself. The Parable of the Talents is no different.

Matt. 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Matt. 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (emphasis added)

Matt. 25:30
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Verse 29 is the point of the entire parable. Two questions necessarily follow:
1) What is the hath referring to?
2) What is taken away?

The primary difference between the two accepted servants and the rejected servant is faith.

Matt. 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful (emphasis added) 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.

Matt. 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful (emphasis added) 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.

Therefore, the hath is v. 29 isn't referring to money, talents, etc. It's referring to faith. What then does a person receive if they have faith? The two faithful servants were given rulership and the ability to enter the kingdom (remember it's a Kingdom Parable, after all - c.f. v. 14).

Who are those that are given the ability to rule and enter the kingdom? See Revelation 20 for the answer - saved individuals. This interpretation fits the context both before and after - before dealing with the coming of Christ and the subsequent gathering of the elect - after dealing with the Sheep and Goat Judgment prior to the institution of the Millennial Kingdom. See Joel 3 for another passage that has a similar feel to the Sheep and Goat Judgment.

That brings us to the final servant. What did he not possess? Faith. What then did he not receive? The ability to rule and enter the kingdom. What did he lose? What he already had.

See, for those who do not have faith, this life (what they have) is as good as it's going to get, and they'll eventually lose even that.

Hope that clears things up. God bless!
 

ShilohRose

Well-Known Member
Take a look at Dr. Andy Woods' sermon series on the Rapture. He tackles this question in "Rapture - 31, Matthew 24-24, part 11, Matthew 25:14-46." This is an excellent series. It can be found on Youtube or at slbc.org under the sermon archives. Dr. Woods currently has 34 teachings on the Rapture, but he isn't finished yet.
 

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
So I was reading Matthew 24 and 25 yesterday morning before I fell asleep (I'm a night owl with a 3rd shift job lol), and I couldn't help but notice how stumped I was at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

It succeeds the Parable of the Ten Virgins, but I'm confused as to the outcome of the 3rd servant, who hid his talent away in the earth, and the master being disappointed with him. This caused the 3rd servant to be thrown into, "outer darkness," Jesus' euphemism for hell.

I believe we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ upon asking Him to be our Savior, and believing the death, burial, and resurrection. The parable just sounds to me like faith in Jesus alone isn't enough, but we must also work to keep that faith. Or am I completely off the mark? Any help with this study would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm not sure if this has been talked about before. I'm new here, although I roamed the boards for a while and am glad now to be here :)

Yes, salvation is a free gift from God through faith in His Son Jesus. But, faith only covers our salvation. Here’s a passage that covers how faith and works go together.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
James 2:14-26

The parable you cite here about the talents you understand correct that our works are important in what we do as Jesus servants while here on earth. We have to remember we are given a great commission that requires work to do. In obedience to our commission we add up our talents you might say. How do we know our works matter? We know this because thats the purpose of the Bema judgement.

God will give rewards in heaven at the bema, or the judgment seat of Christ, based on our faithfulness in service to Him (2 Corinthians 5:10). The rewards will show the reality of our sonship (Galatians 4:7) and the justice of God (Hebrews 6:10). God will give rewards in heaven in order to fulfill the law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7–9) and make good on His promise that our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

https://www.gotquestions.org/rewards-in-heaven.html

We automatically go to heaven and receive our crown of life for being a believer. But, when we go before the bema, the judgement seat of Christ, we will have all of our service for Jesus reviewed, and rewarded as such.
 

Channah

Well-Known Member
So I was reading Matthew 24 and 25 yesterday morning before I fell asleep (I'm a night owl with a 3rd shift job lol), and I couldn't help but notice how stumped I was at the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

It succeeds the Parable of the Ten Virgins, but I'm confused as to the outcome of the 3rd servant, who hid his talent away in the earth, and the master being disappointed with him. This caused the 3rd servant to be thrown into, "outer darkness," Jesus' euphemism for hell.

I believe we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ upon asking Him to be our Savior, and believing the death, burial, and resurrection. The parable just sounds to me like faith in Jesus alone isn't enough, but we must also work to keep that faith. Or am I completely off the mark? Any help with this study would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm not sure if this has been talked about before. I'm new here, although I roamed the boards for a while and am glad now to be here :)
The Book of James will answer your question.
 

Len

Well-Known Member
he talents both are written as taking place during the tribulation, and mainly during the second half. Salvation is not the same for tribulation saints as it is for the church.
now there is something I had not considered that the talents was also in the tribulation period..... helpful to me as well eh!
 
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