Looking Beyond Talents

parable of the talents,
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I’ve listened to many sermons and discussions about the Parable of the Talents (see Matthew 25:14-30). Some examples are God giving us physical/spiritual talents to multiply, giving the servants money to multiply, etc. Each message gave me hope and brought the truth to light. However, there is a key that many don’t discuss and possibly may not have considered in the parable.

Synopsis Of The Parable Of The Talents

A man from a far-off country called his servants and gave them goods (the lord’s possessions, wealth, property). He gave one servant five talents, another two, and another one talent, all according to their abilities, and then he left. The one with five went and made five, the one with two gained two, but the servant who received one went and hid “his lord’s money,” thus not multiplying it.

After a long time, the servant’s lord came to settle their accounts. Both the one with five and the one with two said, Lord, you entrusted me with these talents, and look, I acquired five and two, respectively. Each was told, well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over much: enter into the joy of your lord.

But what did the servant who was only given one talent do? Yes, he dug a hole and hid it in the soil, but what else? He did not answer as the other two did. He said he knew him as a hard man, reaping where he hadn’t sown, gathering where he had not separated, and he was afraid. At the end of his reply, he says, “Lo, there thou hast that is thine.” I’ll get back to that.

parable, talents

Consider Your Words Wisely

First, the lord’s response to him was the complete opposite. He says, you wicked, lazy servant. You knew I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I have not separated. You should have put my money in the bank so I could get it back with interest when I returned.

In addition to this servant not doing anything with his allotment, he chose not to honor the one who called him. His words were that his lord was a hard taskmaster, and he was afraid instead of praising and acknowledging the one who supplied the talent. His words expressed what he believed. He chose to following another master. The two other servants, we can discern, believed in personal responsibility for what was entrusted to them, honored their lord, and therefore were allowed to enter into his joy and be given more. They had a proven track record with their master.

Let me return to the part of “lo, there thou hast that is thine,” the last thing the servant with one talent speaks in Matthew 25:25. His reply seems odd compared to the other two, right? After studying this phrase, consider this interpretation (see below): Surprise, the earth is where your treasure is! This third servant buried the master’s treasure in the earth, where he now had to go and separate–gather like wheat freed from the chaff–to get it back.

Matthew 13:44 is the scripture, written in red, that reveals to us what the Lord of the servants did. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When he found it, he hid it–vailed from the wicked servant–and for the joy thereof, sold all that He had, died on a cross, and bought the field (the earth) with His precious blood!

May you always have a zeal for the living word of our Lord! Amen.

Blessings and honor,
Angela Errett

“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [there] thou hast [that is] thine.” 

Matthew 25:25 KJV

The second part of this scripture is three words: Lo, the Hebrew word ide, can mean behold, see, or used as an exclamation to denote surprise! Next, thou hast in Hebrew is echo, meaning to hold, possession, property, or riches. Thine is the Hebrew word sos, which means yours or your own. Could it be the wicked servant hid the lord’s property in the earth and snidely said, “Surprise, the earth is where your treasure is!” This action shows he did not revere the lord that supplied him the talent, did not acknowledge the true source, and believed his lord was a hard taskmaster. He rebelled by being lazy and hiding it, refusing to multiply it, and therefore dishonoring his lord. His reward? The lord took the talent from him and gave it to the one who had ten. He chose not to seek out truth and what measure was required of him. He was cast into outer darkness, ignorant of divine knowledge, in a place of lamentation and utter despair that devours (see Matthew 25:28-30).

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