Summary: A talent is understood to be a large sum of money; 1 talent = 6000 denarii … A typical laborers wages for a day was one denarius … The owner of the estate goes on travel (v. 14) … To three servants he gives five, two, and one talent(s) respectively (v. 15) … He who had five, invested and doubled them to 10, he with two, invested and doubled them them to four, and he with one buried it underground for safe keeping (vv. 16-18) … Upon his lordships return, accounts are justified … The servants that doubled their talents are equally complemented for their good works (vv. 19-23) … Him with one, who did nothing with it, is sharply rebuked (vv. 24-27) to the extent that his single talent is repossessed by the master and given to someone who has 10 (v. 28) … Finally, a commentary is given saying those of means can receive more, those with less can lose what they have depending on what they do with what they have (vv. 29-30).
Analysis: The same applause by the master is given to the servants with five and two talents because they were equally faithful, or in this case productive (vv. 20-23) … The commendation of the single talent servant (vv. 24-30) seems harsh to us moderns … According to Jesus, them that has and invests or works with what one has, gets more … The greater the ability, the greater the responsibility … Each is given a measure of ability and therefore responsibility … This parable is one of hard reality … The moral from the perspective of a Christian’s missionary work is that Christ entrusted us to carry out and expand on the work the He started … Each is expected to maximize the return on talents we’ve been given to the expansion of God’s kingdom … “God will not have His work manifested by cowards” (RW Emerson, Self-Reliance).