The Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:14-30- Inductive Bible Study

Matt 25:14-30

” For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.  15 “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.  16 “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.  17 “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.  18 “But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money

19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.  20 “The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’  21 “His master said to him, ‘Well donegood and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many thingsenter into the joy of your master.’ 

22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’  23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 

24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.  25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 

26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.  27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.  28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ 

29 ” For to everyone who hasmore shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.  30 “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

Bearing Fruit

Use it or Lose it

The Master’s Stewards

A Joyful Entrance

The Words We Want to Hear

The Accounting that Counts

Generosity to the Rich?

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?
    1. Ten Virgins – Believers and unbelievers
    2. Two Foundations – Believers and unbeliever
    3. The Sower – Believers and unbeliever
    4. The Wheat and the Tares – Believers and unbeliever
    5. The Dragnet – Believers and unbeliever
    6. The Unforgiving Servant – Wicked response to a gracious Master
    7. The Workers in the Vineyard – Compensation for work
    8. The Two Sons – Taking unjust advantage of a relationship
    9. The Wicked Vinedressers – Wicked response to a gracious Master
    10. The Wedding Feast – Judgment of unbelievers
    11. The Minas – Believers and unbeliever
  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

His disciples

  1. What was the context for this parable?

He is answering their question about the end of the age and the signs that accompany it.

Matt 24:3

3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

  1. What are the main elements of this parable and what does each represent?
    1. Man – Jesus
    2. Journey – The time between Jesus’ ascension and His return
    3. His own slaves – Professing believers
    4. Entrusted his possessions – Assigned them a stewardship
    5. Five Talents – Large responsibility
    6. Two (talents) – Moderate responsibility
    7. One (talent) – Small responsibility
    8. According to his own ability – Responsibilities assigned commensurate with capability
    9. Trade with them – Engage in business for a profit
    10. Gained five (two) more talents – 100% profit
    11. Dug a hole – Lazy
    12. Hid his Master’s money – Unproductive, wasted his opportunity
    13. After a long time – Jesus is away for a long time
    14. Came – Jesus returns
    15. Settled accounts – We must give Him an account for the resources He entrusted to us
    16. Well done – Jesus commends faithfulness
    17. Good and faithful slave – Notes the quality of his character and the degree of his effort
    18. Few things – Earthly things
    19. Put you in charge – A new more substantial stewardship will be assigned
    20. Many things – Millennial responsibilities
    21. Enter – The Millineum
    22. Joy of your master – Unspeakable joy of being with the Lord forever
    23. I knew you to be a hard man – The heart attitude of an unbeliever
    24. I was afraid – Lack of a true relationship  results in fear
    25. Hid your talent – Once again, unproductive and wasted his opportunity
    26. You have what is yours – Demonstrates his disdain for his Master
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. Don’t waste the resources the Lord has entrusted to you.
    2. One day we will all have to give an accounting to the Lord for what He has entrusted to us.
    3. God grants us responsibilities in accordance with our abilities.
    4. I am to be as productive as possible for the Lord.
    5. God will reward us according to our faithfulness.
    6. This is just a warm up for the real responsibilities of the future.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Luke 16:10-13

10 ” He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.  11 “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?  12 “And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  13 ” No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” 

Matt 6:19-21

19 ” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Luke 19:12-27

12 So He said, ” A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.  13 “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this  until I come back.’  14 “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’  15 “When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.  16 “The first appeared, saying, ‘ Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’  17 “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.‘  18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’  19 “And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’  20 “Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;  21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’  22 “He said to him, ‘ By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?  23’Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’  24 “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’  25 “And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’  26 ” I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.  27 “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” 

Luke 17:10

10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'” 

Heb 10:39

39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

1 Cor 15:10

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

1 Tim 6:18-19

18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Gen 39:8

8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.

Heb 3:5-6

5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; 6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house —  whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

1 Cor 4:1-2

1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

Titus 1:7-9

7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

1 Peter 4:10

10 As each one has received a special giftemploy it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.

What were the differences between the five foolish virgins and the slave to whom one talent was entrusted?

Why didn’t the third slave put the talent in the bank?

Describe the slaves attitudes about their master’s return.

What are some ways in which we can “dig a hole” and put in it the talent that the Lord has entrusted to us?

How is the wicked, lazy slave’s attitude toward his Master similar to that of many unbelievers?

Why would the wicked, lazy slave have such a bad opinion about his Master?

What other misconceptions about the Lord are common among unbelievers?

What are some “talents” that the Lord might entrust to us?

How soon do you think the Master was aware of this slave’s laziness and wickedness?

Why would the Master entrust such riches to him if He already knew of the slave’s character deficiencies?

  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?

Be more faithful in Scripture memory and review.