Parables of Jesus and talents – profitability and faithfulness

Join Our Email List

The parables of Jesus & the bottom line

parables of JesusOf the several parables of Jesus the one that dealt with the three servants and their use of talents shows how God cares about profitability and faithfulness to His purposes. This profitability and faithfulness is shown by how each of the  three servants “traded” with the talents they had received.

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.  And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.  (Matthew 25:16-17)

The parables of Jesus and His faithful servants

The Lord distributed His talents to His servants.  The servants, who received five and two talents respectively, right away went out and “traded” with them.  Notice that the Lord did not command them to go out and trade with their talents . . . they went out voluntarily.  How is it that they knew they should act in this manner?  The answer is that they perceived the intention of their Lord.  They understood the mind of their Lord.  Therefore, they went out and trades with their talents.

To know the mind of the Lord is fundamental for all those who want to fulfill the purpose of God and be qualified as overcomers.  To know the Lord is extremely important for success in His service and several of the parables of Jesus point to details that help us to know Him better.  Verse 18 says that the servant that had received one talent dug a hole and hid his talent.  The servant hid his talent because he did not know the Lord.

The parables of Jesus and the lazy servants

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’  (Matthew 25:24-25)

What?  He was afraid of the Lord?  Could that be right?  Could it be that we should fear the Lord in this way?   Is it correct to say that the Lord reaps where He has not sown, or gathers where He has not strewn?  Who is like that?  Nobody can expect to reap where he has not sown!  God is nothing like what this servant had accused Him of being. This parable is teaching nothing of the sort, nor do any of the parables of Jesus teach that God is a tyrant. This servant had a twisted concept of who his Lord was.  He thought that his Lord was a severe and unjust authoritarian despot.  Nowhere in scripture is God described in this manner.  On the contrary He is a gracious, patient and generous giver who as bestowed upon us, everything that we have.  We have nothing that He has not granted us, or allowed us to possess.

The first two servants negotiated with their talents and turned a profit, multiplying them, without anyone commanding them to do so.  They did this because they had discerned the mind of their Lord.  The one that buried his talent did so because he was afraid.  He was afraid because he did not sufficiently know his Lord.  A proper vision of God is vital to our spiritual growth.

Just as the servant who buried his talent viewed the Lord as being gratuitously cruel many people today are similarly deceived.  Others however think of the Lord as a God that could never be capable of disciplining His servants since they are also His children.  Many people think that a good father would never physically discipline his children and so they project that view of human fatherhood onto God.

The parables of Jesus and His treatment of unfaithful servants

It is necessary to know how God has revealed Himself through His Word in order for us to have a proper idea of how He deals with His people, His children and His servants.  The truth is that the Lord is a loving God that looks at His servants and children through the eyes of love.  However in Hebrews 12:5-6, the Word also affirms that the Father disciplines the children that He loves and that it is a fearful thing (from the Greek phoberos: also meaning terrible) to fall in the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).  God addresses His own people in these passages and not unregenerate sinners.  While it is true that unbelievers come under God’s judgment, they do not “fall into the hands” of God.

Several of the parables of Jesus in Matthews gospel reinforce the fact that He will firmly judge the fruit of His people’s lives when He returns to set up His kingdom. However He will never unjustly incriminate us or falsely accuse us.

One Response to “Parables of Jesus and talents – profitability and faithfulness”

  1. […] own betrayal is the principal root of lack of trust! When we are not faithful in a thing or an area, the tendency is to transfer this lack of trustworthiness to others. We see […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: