The Parable of the Talents

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In the parable of the talents, a man gave talents to three of his servants, to use in his absence. A talent was a huge amount of money, roughly equivalent to fifteen years of wages for a laborer in those days. Two of the servants used the money well, and when the master returned, he was pleased and rewarded them. One of the servants simply buried his talent in the ground, and the master was displeased.

In this story, talents symbolize the wealth of good and truth that the Lord gives to us. We are free to use these gifts as we wish. But the Lord hopes that we will use these gifts wisely, like the good and faithful servants in the parable. For then we can make our eternal home in heaven and enter into the joy of our Lord.

The Story

Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

Ideas for Discussion

  1. What is a talent in the parable? (It is a weight measurement and refers to a large amount of money.)
  2. Who does the man (or master) symbolize? (the Lord)
  3. Who are meant by the servants? (people)
  4. What do the talents symbolize in this story? (The gifts that the Lord gives to us—especially goods and truths that we can use in our lives.)
  5. The good and faithful servants used their talents for trading and doubled them. What does this teach us about the importance and rewards of using what the Lord gives us?
  6. What is meant by burying the talent? (Knowing truths but not applying them to life.)
  7. How can we use our spiritual talents—good and truth—for trade? (One way might be to reflect on how we can apply truths in our lives and then share our ideas with others. We can share our ideas through discussion and also by modeling the application in our lives.)

Read more about…

  • The Parable of the Talents by John Odhner
    If we use our talents to make other people happy, we can share in the Lord’s happiness.
  • Using Our Talents by Eric Carswell
    The Lord has given a significant capability to each of us. Just as a talent was equivalent to thousands of denarii, we have thousands of opportunities to be an influence for good or for ill on those around us.

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