THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
The Parable of the Talents is a well-known biblical story found in the New Testament, specifically in the Gospel of Matthew 25:14-30. It is one of the many parables taught by Jesus Christ, meant to convey important spiritual and ethical lessons.
Once there was a wealthy man who was preparing to go on a journey. Before he left, he called his three servants and entrusted them with his property. To each servant, he gave a certain number of talents (a unit of money in biblical times) according to their abilities:
To the first servant, he gave five talents.
To the second servant, he gave two talents.
To the third servant, he gave one talent.
Then, the master set out on his journey. The first two servants immediately went to work and invested their talents wisely. The servant who received five talents made five more talents through his investments, and the servant who received two talents made two more talents.
However, the third servant who had received one talent was afraid of losing the money. Instead of investing it, he dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money there to keep it safe.
After a long time, the master returned from his journey and called his servants to give an account of what they had done with the talents he had entrusted to them. The first servant who had received five talents proudly presented the additional five talents he had earned, making ten talents in total. The master praised him, saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
The second servant who had received two talents also proudly showed the master the two additional talents he had earned, making four talents in total. The master praised him as well, saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
Then the third servant came forward with only the one talent he had initially received, and he said to the master, "I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, so I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here is what belongs to you."
The master was displeased with the third servant's response and said, "You wicked and lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. You should have at least invested my money with the bankers so that I would have received it back with interest."
Then the master took the one talent from the third servant and gave it to the first servant who had ten talents, saying, "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away."
And to add to the consequences of the third servant's actions, the master cast him out into the darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Parable of the Talents teaches several valuable lessons, including the importance of:
Responsibility and stewardship: We are entrusted with gifts and resources, and we should use them wisely and productively.
Diligence and hard work: The first two servants demonstrated industriousness and were rewarded for their efforts.
Risk-taking: Investing the talents represents taking calculated risks to achieve growth and progress.
Using our abilities: Each servant was given talents according to his abilities, and they were expected to utilize them.
Accountability: We are accountable for how we use the resources and opportunities given to us.
The parable emphasizes that we should not fear taking action, utilizing our talents, and striving for growth and improvement, as these actions are pleasing to the divine and lead to rewards.