Matthew 25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents

The parable of the talents concerns how the Lord Jesus Christ is going to determine which of his Jewish servants will reign with him during the millennium and to what extent they will reign. To best understand this parable we should simply handle it verse by verse and explain it as we go.

Verse 14 – the kingdom of heaven = Christ’s earthly, physical, visible kingdom on this earth – the man = Jesus Christ – the far country = heaven – his own servants = Jewish saints – his goods = the things in which they are to be occupied until his return (Lk 19:13)

Verse 15 – talents = Jewish measure of currency – they were given differing amounts according to their several ability [that is according to the ability that each one of them had] – he gave more to the servant that had the more ability and less to the servant with less ability

Verse 16 – the one with 5 made 5 more – so he doubled his return

Verse 17 – the one with 2 made 2 more – so he doubled his return just like the fellow that had the 5 talents – this doubling reminds us of Job 42:10, 12 and shows us a tribulation significance to this parable

Verse 18 – essentially the servant with 1 talent could have doubled his return as well by making 1 more talent and he would have been equal to the others – instead, he hid his talent in the earth (which was a terrible move Mk 4:19)

Verse 19 – after a long time = approximately 2,000 years after Jesus preached the parable – the Lord cometh = the Second Advent of Jesus – he reckoneth with them = the Judgment of Israel right after the Second Coming of Jesus (Matt 19:28-29)

Verse 20-21 – the servant with 5 reckoned with the Lord for 10 talents and received a three-fold reward = 1) a commendation “well done; good and faithful”, 2) a reign “ruler over many things” [during the 1,000 year reign of Jesus], and 3) joy “joy of thy Lord”

Verse 22-23 – the servant with 2 talents reckoned with the Lord for 4 talents and received the identical reward as the servant with 10 talents [because he doubled his Lord’s talents]

Verse 24 – “thou art an hard man” = like an owner’s arrangements with a tenant farmer, where the tenant does all of the work and the owner gets a big piece of the return – the Lord is hard (Deut 6:10-11)

Verse 25 – “I was afraid” = bad excuse with the Lord (Jer 1:8, 17; Jos 1:9) – this is why more people don’t work for the lord; they think that he is unreasonable (compare Rom 12:1-2, where presenting your body a living sacrifice is called “reasonable”) – “hid thy talent” = afraid to work it and lose it so he hid it from theft and risk

Verse 26 – reward = a rebuke “wicked and slothful servant” (compare verse 21)

Verse 27 – “put my money to the exchangers” = the Lord is definitely interested in a return on his investment and he would have accepted “usury” (interest) at a minimum

Verse 28 – “give it unto him which hath ten” = notice that the one with the most gets more (so, though the 5 and the 2 both doubled, the one who originally had 5 gets the 1); notice also that though the original talents were the Lord’s, the men who traded with them got to keep all of them plus whatever they received from those who didn’t work them.

Verse 29 – The more a saint does with what he has been given, the more he will get to keep; do nothing and the saint loses even the little bit that he had

Verse 30 – the saint who lost his talent also lost his salvation – NOTICE: that the parable of the pounds [English currency] in Lk 19:12-27, by contrast, is a parable concerning church age saints [the kingdom of God {spiritual} Lk 19:11]. The one who hid his pound was not cast into outer darkness, he simply lost his pound. On the other hand, the citizens who would not submit to his reign were slain(they were the ones who were lost)