“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. [e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”—Matthew 25:14–30
Here’s another example of a financial parable that Jesus uses to communicate a spiritual truth. Here he wants to teach us stewarding the gifts he has entrusted to us. These could be talents and abilities or they might be the very message of grace that he has entrusted us with. We don’t all receive the same gifts, but we’re all expected to return our master’s investment.
This parable’s point rests on a real-world example of stewardship. High-level slaves in the first century would be responsible for the stewardship of the master’s resources. Moneylending was a fairly ubiquitous way for people of means to help others while increasing their own wealth. If they didn’t have enough money to lend, they could at least keep it in temple banks where it would be secure and earn a small amount of interest.
Jesus’ use of the parable helps us understand a spiritual principle while giving us a peek into the financial practices of the day—and the wisdom of wisely investing your capital.
This article was originally published on October 31, 2016 by CDFAcapital.org. Article re-posted with permission. Click here to read the original article.