Matthew 25:14-30. The Talents - Mr. S. Wells
Again, we must keep in mind that while there are valuable applications of this parable to our own situation, its interpretation relates to believers of the Tribulation age, awaiting the Lordʼs Appearing in Glory. We must not confuse it with the parable of the pounds in Luke 19.11-27.
Verse 14: A Man Travelling into a Far Country.
It is no doubt a reference to the Lord Jesus, still in heaven between the Rapture and the Appearing in Glory.
Verse 15: Distribution of Talents.
The Master is considerate; He gives in accordance with ability, ﬁve talents, two, and one.
Verses 16-17: Trading.
The behaviour of the ﬁrst two men was alike; “likewise”. Both men treated the matter urgently. (Most translations render “then” (Strong 1161) with “straightway”, “immediately”, “without delay”, or “at once” although it is a very ﬂexible conjunction). Both men used what had been given them, “the same”. Both men doubled their assets; their service was effective. Both men received the same commendation, v.21 & v.23.
Verse 18: Neglect.
The verse commences with an ominous “but”. Details of the motives and character of this “servant” will be divulged later in the parable, but here the mention of “the earth” is signiﬁcant. He is more taken up with the earth than with heavenʼs interests.
Verse 19: Accountability.
Responsibility brings accountability. “After a long time”. They had had ample opportunity to serve effectively, and the day of reckoning had now come.
Verses 20-23: Commendation and Reward.
Those who will be faithful to Christ in the extreme conditions of the Great Tribulation will be recompensed. They were “bondservants”; now they were to be rulers in His kingdom. They had experienced the rigours of testimony in an extremely hostile environment; now they would know the joy of their Lord.
Verse 24: Slander.
This servant had a completely distorted view of the character of his lord. He used it as an excuse for indolence. N.B. The lord did not endorse his view in vv.26-27, but was saying in effect, “If this is really what you thought, it should have affected your actions”.
Verses 25: Sloth.
He was paralysed with fear and hence did nothing for his lord.
Verses 26-27: The Character of the Servant.
“Wicked”; “Slothful” (Strong 3636; translated “grievous” in Phil.3.1); Unproﬁtable (v.30). This description, as with his judgement, makes clear that this “servant” illustrates a mere professor.
Verses 28-30: Loss and Punishment.
The “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is in contrast to the “joy” experienced by the other two servants.