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The Parable of the Talents

Posted in Bible, Parables, Religion on Tuesday, 29 March 2011

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The parable of the talents is a powerful illustration of the dire consequence of life’s wasted and lost opportunities to make the most of what we have been given. Although its imagery centres on money, the lesson Jesus imparts in telling this parable applies to many aspects of human experience.

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The master casts out the servant and takes back his talent, by Clive Uptton

A master is going away for a while, and calls his three servants to whom he entrusts his wealth: he gives the first five talents, the second two talents, and the third a single talent. The master then leaves his house and goes on his journey. After he has gone time passes and the first servant increases his talents by trading with the first five; the second servant also adds to his original two; but the third servant buries his one talent and leaves it in the safety and obscurity of the earth. When the master returns he asks after his servants and what they have done with their talents and his property. The first two tell him of their hard work, risk-taking and consequent rewards of doubling the original sum, but the third man simply states that he had buried his one talent for fear of losing it. On hearing this his master is extremely angry, and after rewarding the other two with promotion, turns his rage on this “wicked and slothful servant”, taking away his talent and punishing him:

“For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Matthew 25: 29)

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