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Parables Of Jesus Christ: The Talents

The English word "talent" was used to translate the Hebrew word (pronounced) kik-kar, meaning a round loaf, and the Greek word (pronounced) tal-en-ton (from which the English word talent originated) that referred to the standard weights used in a balance, but was also used for a larger unit. The standard for the talent was variable, depending on the Hebrew or Greek usage. A talent ranged from the English equivalent of about 70 to over 90 pounds.

The modern-day usage of "talent," in referring to ability, originated from the Messiah's parable of the talents.

"25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 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.(Matthew 25:14-15 KJV)

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful"

The parable was not merely about being given something. The "talents" were meant as a means to do something, as two of the three recipients appreciated.


"25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money." (Matthew 25:16-18 KJV)

The parable isn't about money. It's about the knowledge and awareness that is given to Christ's true Church of God to grow with until His return (see When Will You Be Judged? and Could Christ Return Tonight?). In the case of the first individual, he used the five talents that he had been given to earn five more.

"25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

25:20 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.

25:21 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." (Matthew 25:19-21 KJV)

Another of the recipients doubled his gift also. He used the two talents that he was given to earn two more. He did just as well as the one who had doubled his five talents.

"25:22 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.

25:23 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." (Matthew 25:22-23 KJV)

The third recipient was a deliberate failure. Not only did he not make his gift grow, he didn't even try. He hid his talent, just like someone who knows God's Truth, but does not live by it, even hiding that they are aware of the Truth e.g. people who hide their knowledge or observance of God's true Sabbath Day - for which they will be condemned (see Sunday Is Not The Sabbath).

"25:24 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 strowed: 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

25:26 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 strowed: 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 25:29 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. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:24-30 KJV)

Fact Finder: How should Christ's true people make use of the "talents" that the LORD has given them?
See Growing In The Grace And Knowledge

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