The parable of the talents

Stories Jesus told

  • You have probably heard the word 'talent' before. You might have seen a talent show on television or even been in one in real life.

    Jesus had some wise words to share about how people use their talents in a very famous story. In this parable, a 'talent' was a certain amount of precious metal which was very valuable - an ancient version of a big wad of cash. Find out more about this story here, or read it for yourself in Matthew 25:14-30. What point do you think Jesus was making about the gifts and talents we have?

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    There was a rich man who had three servants. He had to go away on a business trip so he left them in charge of his wealth. He gave 5,000 gold coins to one, 2,000 gold coins to another and then 1,000 to the last servant.

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    The first two servants took the money given to them and made more money out of it. The first servant earned another 5,000 coins. The second earned another 2,000.

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    But the third servant didn't know what to do. So he dug a hole in the ground and buried his 1,000 gold coins.

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    When the rich man came back he called his servants to see him. He asked them what they had done with the money. The first servant presented him with 10,000 gold coins. "Well done!" said the rich man.

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    The second servant presented him with 4,000 gold coins. "Well done!" said the rich man.

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    The third servant told the rich man, "I was scared of you, so I dug a hole and buried the money. Here is your 1,000 coins back."

    The rich man was angry and said, "Lazy servant! You could have put it in a bank! Then it would have at least earned interest. I am taking this money and giving it to the servant who earned 5,000 gold coins. As for you, you're fired!"

    There are a couple of things Christians might learn from this special story. One is that God gives people gifts and talents. But most importantly, we are given these to be used for good. It is a waste to be given a gift that is not used.

    What talents do you have? You might be a talented musician or athlete. But you might have special abilities that you have never thought of as talents - such as being able to listen to people and make friends, or being kind to people.

    How can you use your talents and abilities to make the world a happier place?

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