Account for the Gifts God Gives

Matthew 25,14-30

This parable of the talents lies between the parable of the Virgins and the parable of Final Judgement. All three parables serve to prepare the people of God concerning the coming Kingdom. The parable of the Virgins teaches us diligence, because the Kingdom may come at any moment. The parable of the Final Judgement teaches us that in order to possess the Kingdom it is necessary that we accept the ‘little ones’.

Willem de Poorter, The Parable of the Talents or Minas (Public domain)

The parable of the Talents teaches us how to make the Kingdom grow. It speaks of the gifts we receive from God. Everyone has something to give, and we learn from one another. The key to understanding this parable is our view of God. Among the Jews who followed the Pharisees, some imagined that God was a severe Judge, who treated people according to the merit they gained from keeping the Law. So people feared God and stopped growing. This especially prevented people from opening their hearts to receive the new experience of God which Jesus communicated.

Therefore in this parable, Jesus tells a story of a man who entrusts to his servants – five, two, or one talent; each according to their ability. We think that one talent was worth the value of 34 kilograms of Gold, wealth beyond our imagination, so all receive his precious and valuable gift according to their ability.

We are told that the first two servants doubled their money. But the third buried his talent so not to lose it. It is a question of the goods of the Kingdom, which are given to people according to their need. Everyone receives some goods of the Kingdom, but not all respond in the same way. The worst response from any of us, is to do nothing.

So the story tells us that the Master returns from a long journey, and the first two servants render their accounts. They doubled their talents, and the Master is well pleased. “Well done good and trustworthy servant, you have shown you are trust worthy in small things. I will trust you in greater; come and join in your Master’s happiness” (Matt 25,21).

Fr. Nathan Williams

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