The parable of the talents

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

Today’s gospel from Matt. 25: 14-30 is another parable that our Lord Jesus Christ uses to teach and to preach the good news to the people… it is the Parable of the Talents. This is a message for all servant leaders who want their underlings to become achievers. It is a lesson in life that people should use their talents and take risks in order to achieve more. But then as we see in this parable, God hasn’t given equal treatment to all his servants. So let’s read this parable first and make comments after.

“[Jesus told his disciples this parable.] 14” [The kingdom of heaven] will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents; to another, two, to a third one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

Immediately 16 the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. 17 Likewise, the one who received two made another two. 18 But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

19 After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled the accounts with them. 29 The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servants. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come and share your master’s joy.

24 Then came the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; 25 so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ 26 His master said to him in reply, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Should you not have put my money in the bank so I could have got it back with interest on my return?

28 Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.

29 For  everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And throw this useless servant into darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth!” 


Did we not say earlier that the master didn’t give his servants the same number of talents? Therefore one can say that this is also true in real life. Many of us have been given more than most. In fact a great majority of us only had a chance to use one talent. There is no doubt that a man with five talents can do much more than the one with fewer talents. This is why in the real world today, they always say that the rich ones get richer, while the poor ones get poorer. But then they say, that’s life!

But don’t ever believe that rich people have a huge advantage over the poorer ones. It is a fact that so many fortunes are lost because the children of the rich become lazy and take for granted that their being rich would not be taken away from them. There are many rich Cebuano families whose fortunes have collapsed due to gambling and womanizing. They are still here, but they are no longer rich.

Mind you, today there are also many people who started from a life of poverty and through hard work, they succeeded and have become extremely rich. These are people whom I truly respect for God gave them only one talent, but they multiplied it to make a better life. In short, God punished the servant with only one talent because he was lazy and was afraid to take risks. Life after all is a risk itself!

If this scripture passage was discussed in a business or corporate meeting, it would fall under productivity. The servant with the five talents went out and produced five more. While the servant with only one talent was so scared to risk losing it. He buried it in the ground. Talents are just like money. If you had a room full of money, what good would that do?

As our Lord Jesus Christ said, if you put that money in the bank, at least it would earn interest while the bank can use that money to loan it to those who need it most. So basically the message of this parable is very clear that in heaven there is no room for lazy people. This is why sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.

This parable also teaches us to make good use of what talents God has given us. Unfortunately, most of us cannot even recognize the inborn talents within us. This is why we must all strive to get our talents and use them well. This is why children are taught piano, dancing, or singing lessons so that we’d know what gifts God has gave them. God bless you all!

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