Matthew 25:14-30

Good News Translation (GNT)


   The Parable of the Three Servants

14  "At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be
   like this. Once there was a man who was
   about to leave home on a trip; he called his
   servants and put them in charge of his
15  He gave to each one according to his ability:
   to one he gave five thousand gold coins,
   to another he gave two thousand, and to
   another he gave one thousand.
   Then he left on his trip.
16  The servant who had received five thousand
   coins went at once and invested his money
   and earned another five thousand.
17  In the same way the servant who had received
   two thousand coins earned another two
18  But the servant who had received one
   thousand coins went off, dug a hole in the
   ground, and hid his master's money.
19  "After a long time the master of those servants
   came back and settled accounts with them.
20  The servant who had received five thousand
   coins came in and handed over the other five
   thousand. 'You gave me five thousand coins,
   sir,' he said. 'Look! Here are another five
   thousand that I have earned.'
21  'Well done, you good and faithful servant!'
   said his master. 'You have been faithful
   in managing small amounts, so I will put you
   in charge of large amounts. Come on in
   and share my happiness!'
22  Then the servant who had been given two
   thousand coins came in and said, 'You gave
   me two thousand coins, sir. Look! Here are
   another two thousand that I have earned.'
23  'Well done, you good and faithful servant!'
   said his master. 'You have been faithful in
   managing small amounts, so I will put you
   in charge of large amounts.
   Come on in and share my happiness!'
24  Then the servant who had received one
   thousand coins came in and said, 'Sir, I know
   you are a hard man; you reap harvests where
   you did not plant, and you gather crops
   where you did not scatter seed.
25  I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money
   in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to
26  'You bad and lazy servant!' his master said.
   'You knew, did you, that I reap harvests
   where I did not plant, and gather crops where
   I did not scatter seed?
27  Well, then, you should have deposited my
   money in the bank, and I would have received
   it all back with interest when I returned.
28  Now, take the money away from him and give
   it to the one who has ten thousand coins.
29  For to every person who has something, even
   more will be given, and he will have more than
   enough; but the person who has nothing,
   even the little that he has will be taken away
   from him.
30  As for this useless servant - throw him outside
   in the darkness; there he will cry and gnash
   his teeth.'


Commentary taken from
'The Applied New Testament Commentary'

The Parable of the Talents (Three Servants)

The second coming of Jesus will be like a man going on a journey. The man is Jesus.

The parable's meaning is this: Jesus gives different gifts to different people according to their ability. But whatever gifts He gives, He wants us to use them.

If He gives us land, He wants us to diligently raise crops. If He gives us the chance to study, He wants us to study hard. If He gives us the gift of teaching, or of leadership, then we must teach and lead diligently and wisely. If He gives us wealth, we must use it in His service.

In the parable, one servant received only a small gift, just one talent. (one thousand gold coins) He did not use the gift the master had given him. He buried the money in the ground.

Although they are not mentioned in this parable, there are many people who receive two or five talents in this life and bury all of them in the ground. Their guilt will be even greater than the guilt of the man with only one talent.

If we do not use our spiritual and material blessings in God's service, they will be taken away from us. If we grieve the Holy Spirit, He will depart from us.

The punishment for a servant who misuses a gift of God is very severe. When we do not use God's gift in His service, we cheat God, we oppose God. Therefore, He will oppose us.

Many people say to themselves, "I can do so little for God," and they use that as an excuse for doing nothing. Such people are like the wicked and lazy servant of this parable.

In Luke's 'parable of the minas' (A mina was worth three month's wages) the master went to a distant country to have himself appointed king. But his subjects sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king'. Then at the end of the parable, the king had those enemies put to death.

These extra details about the king do not change the meaning of the parable. However, they do describe a historic occurrence. Archelaus, the son of King Herod, went to the Roman emperor, after his father's death, to confirm his succession to his father's throne.

But a delegation of Jews went after him and appealed to the emperor asking that Archelaus not be made king over them. As a result,
the emperor reduced Archelaus' authority. Later, Archelaus persecuted the Jews who had opposed him.

Let us not be among those who oppose the true king, Jesus, the King of kings. If we reject His gifts, if we refuse to serve Him, we shall bring upon ourselves eternal condemnation.

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