the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called
his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 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.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded
with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And
likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But
he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's
money.19 After a long time the lord of those servants
cometh, and reckoneth with them. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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: 25 And I
was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast
that is thine. 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: 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. 28 Take
therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
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. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable
servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The “Parable of
the Talents” is one of our Lord Yahshua spiritual teachings that should be
taught frequently and learned and applied to the life of every Christian.
Although the meaning of the talents can be interpreted literally, what is
relevant in this parable is the intention of the Lord Jesus Christ when
teaching it, which covers beyond the meaning of the word “talent”. The two
questions to answer then would be: What is a talent, the one that the Lord
Jesus means in His parable, and what is a talent symbolically and applied
with reference to what it can cover its meaning for the personal and
Christian growth that the Master is teaching us here?
The word talent (Gk.
Kikkar; “round”, “oval”; 1 Ki. 9:14) Diccionario Bíblico Ilustrado, Vilá-Escuaín.
Pg. 930. Is
a unit of wait used, amongst other things, to weigh silver and gold, and in
use in times of Jesus Christ, although used by different nations since
previous centuries, so it is therefore a reference to both Greeks and
If we go to the Text
of the parable, we find that it starts talking about a man that went far and
delivered his goods to his servants. We are talking of a business in the
sense of finance, about asset management. If that man is Christ, who has
gone to receive His kingdom and return, (the second coming) it tells us that
He has delivered His goods, those here, to His servants: the Church.
Obviously the goods that Yahshua has here are far greater in meaning than a
talent of silver or gold. About 58kg of gold, would be equivalent to a
talent and would have a value today of about a million and a half dollars.
On the other hand it says
that He gave to each according to their capacity. To the first he gave five
talents, two to another and one to another. Knowing that He returns at the
end and will
reckon with all of us what we
have done with those talents, consider that the first two obtained 100%
profit, but the third hid it, excusing himself and accusing the Lord; a
clear proof of lack of faith. And we know the rest of the parable about the
end of each of the three servants. Now, the Lord provides all of us
Christians with a principal gift, which is faith. If we play on words which
many studies and commentaries about this parable have avoided, a talent is a
gift, a present, the key talent to all the others is the Gospel. The third
servant hid it; hid the faith, does not preach, nor helps, does nothing,
simply lives his life not serving the Gospel, without testifying of Christ,
without sharing the message of salvation. Maybe just goes to church and
participates of some yearly celebration, but, is it a true Christian? “Ye
shall know them by their fruits”, Matthew 7:16. The first two, on the
contrary use all the talents they have received for their Lord.
Many think they
have no talents from Christ, no gifts, nor capacities from the Spirit, they
do not even believe in the power of the Gospel, nor do they believe they can
win any for Christ by sharing their experience of faith and inviting them to
hear preaching or to a Bible Christian meeting. In the same way when one
does not know what talent, capacity or gift Christ has given us, is for two
reasons. The first one is because we do not believe that our life has any
relevance, nor our natural capacities, nor our resources, no matter how
scarce they may be and we do not consider ourselves worthy of Yahshua;
however we have been made to the image and likeness of God and have natural
talents, therefore if one does not have all the hope now, or does not feel
capable now, it can support those who do, whether missionaries, pastors,
brethren, etc. The second is in the field of the gifts received after
conversion, and here, if someone does not know which ones it has is due to a
lack of prayer, a lack of time with God and His Word. Others want to have
all the talents, the five of them, but God who is the wisest, may only
The question is
what we do with our lives, resources, and talents from birth, relationships,
education, finances, and with all the gifts of the Spirit, for we have
received all from God. What we do with our life and how we invest it or not,
is the key of this parable. If we can do, let’s do, if we cannot do, let’s
help those who can. We are not talking of our salvation, but of a life that
goes beyond ourselves and gives the love of Yahshua.
Who, being a true
Christian will live without using his resources for Christ, whether to give
testimony of His work in his life, or to preach to others, to help others
and to give glory to God?
TALENTS AND GIFTS
We have been talking
about talents and gifts, and many will say they are not the same. It may be
understood that a talent is from birth and gift is from the second birth,
from the Spirit, and that only a Christian has a gift. We should be more
specific. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are only in possession of Christians
because they are for the glory of God. These gifts are usually called
charismas. The talents and the natural gifts may be used for the daily life,
but also to serve God. Can a gift be a talent? What talents the parable is
In 1 Co. 12:8-10 we
have the list of gifts of the Spirit, which are supernatural capacities
received by Christians according to their ministry in the Church, to which
God calls them. These are evident because they were not there before
conversion, while capacities from birth were there before. For instance: if
a Christian has a musical talent, it was there before and may use it now for
worship, but, is it possible that someone that had no musical capacity
before suddenly receives a gift of worship? Another, more definitive example
would be the gift of discerning spirits, of tongs or of interpretation of
these, or of prophecy, healing, miracles. I have also heard some who thought
they had these capacities before, but really they were sensorial matters
that do not proceed from the Spirit nor were dedicated to holy things of
God. Let us not be deceived: “Prove all things; hold fast that which are
good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
THE FRUIT OF THE TALENTS AND OF THE GIFTS
With these talents
and gifts we can see how we give Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 4:22.
If we give fruit of the
Spirit we are bringing to the King of kings, the fruits of having
“negotiated” with the talent or talents received. When the Lord returns He
will say to us: “Well
done, thou good and faithful servant: ...enter thou into the joy of thy
On the other hand,
the gifts of the church are also the people that God gives for its care and
growth, amongst which and with which live brotherly. Apostles, prophets,
evangelists, pastors and teachers and brotherly friends. Ro. 12:8-8, 1 Co.
12:28-30, Eph. 4:11 + 12 & 13. Some of these gifs, like the apostles are no
longer, for we don’t see who have in them miracles and healings or
resurrection of dead people to whom they want and in any case, though God
today continues to do miracles directly or through His people, because He is
not limited by anyone and operates in His only will.
The ladder of gifts
of God in 2 Peter 1 shows us a list of capacities that the Spirit is working
on us for our spiritual growth, but it is each Christian who must pray and
seek in their intimacy with God, which one, or ones, are the gifts that the
Holy Spirit has given us, capacities that are not from birth but that are
received when one believes in Christ our Lord and saviour, when receiving
Him truly in the heart which is the new birth. As we said before, the gift
of the Spirit is different than the natural gift or talent which is a
capacity. We usually talk colloquially about being gifted for something
within our daily conversation, like a gift for the people, or a gift for
music, etc. which we will do well in putting them to the service of God. But
the gifts of the Spirit are only acquired when God gives them after
receiving the gift of faith, which is by the grace of God. See the list of
Once this point is
clear, it is also important to mention that though there is a difference
between the capacities from birth and the gifts of the Spirit, both can be
used for life and to serve God and the Church, and therefore give fruit of
the Spirit. To close we should also remember that there are gifts of the
Spirit that are without a doubt to serve God only, like the gift or
discerning spirits, the gift of miracles, the gift of healing, the gift of
tongs, of interpretation of tongs, the gift of prophecy. The last matter I
leave to the reader as it is inside the matters of the church. Which of the
gifts of the Holy Spirit from the list of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are
We all receive one
gift, one talent of great value which is the Gospel, and if we believe it we
have the gift of faith, which is supernatural, but if we do not share it we
do not give fruit of the Spirit, and the Lord cannot give us two, nor five.
We cannot live thinking of when we will have more talents, but share the
message and give testimony and/or help those who have these ministries.
First, the Lord will see what we do with the gift of faith and the Gospel.
Then we must apply the parable of the talents to our life and to the
ministry in all aspects of both, with all our capacities and gifts and
talents of the Holy Spirit that God has given us, which we must find out by
prayer and spending time with God, and putting them at His disposition.
Let us be like the
two first servants and use 100% of the resources that God has given us for
His glory, not for ourselves and let us wait to His return to give Him the
obtained fruit and to enter into the joy of our beloved Lord. Amen!