The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is arguably the most famous and most popular of the parables. I’ve heard many, many sermons on this passage in the course of my life, but it always seemed a little odd and a little beyond my comprehension until I read all of Matthew 25 in one sitting. Being Episcopalian, I’ve always read the Bible according to the daily lectionary, so I have always read the Parable of the Talents by itself. To challenge myself spiritually, I am reading books of the Bible in their entirety, but I am still taking the full two years to really read and study each book.
I was blown away when I read Matthew 25. I was surprised to find the Parable of the Talents preceded by the Parable of the Virgins and followed by Jesus’s description of the final judgement. I was struck by the added meaning given to the Parable of the Talents within the context of (1) being prepared for the second coming at any time and (2) being judged on how we have treated our fellow wo/man. The Parable of the Talents became much more accessible.
I would never presume to say I fully understand the Parable of the Talents. I know all too well that people much smart than I am have tried and failed or tried and fell short. But I do believe that studying and mediating on the lessons of the Bible leads all of us to epiphanies that, when shared, can enhance our understanding of God’s plan for us.
That being said, here are the things that struck me when reading Matthew 25 and seeing the Parable of the Talents within the context of the story:
- We must always be ready to meet our maker. To quote the 12 steps, we should continue “to take personal inventory and when we [are] wrong promptly admit it” and seek “through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”
- We must use our God-given abilities to help our fellow wo/man in his/her time of need because we will be judged on how we have used what God gave us to spread the peace and love of God throughout the world.
What do you see in the parables of Matthew 25?