The Talents parable taught by Jesus symbolizes our need to act upon the insight we have received from Creator. The Bible says that "faith without works is dead". Just having faith is not enough for us to get into heaven. If we truly have love in our hearts, than our actions toward others will just naturally be good actions; we will produce good fruit, and those good actions will help us get into heaven. The love we hold in our hearts for others, ourselves and all of creation is the most important part of our journey home.
One note about this parable; one talent equates to 60 minas. In Luke 19:11-27 Jesus spoke a similar parable using minas instead of talents. This parable here is from Matthew.
For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave Five Talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the 300 minas went off at once and traded with them, and made 300 more. In the same way, the one who had the 120 minas made 120 more. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the 300 minas came forward, bringing 300 more minas, saying, "Master, you handed over to me 300 minas; see, I have made 300 more minas. His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. And the one with the 120 minas also came forward, saying, "Master, you handed over to me 120 minas; see, I have made 120 more minas." His master said to him, "Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." Then the one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, "Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your money in the ground. Here you have what is yours." But his master replied, "You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the one talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." ....... Matthew 25:14-30
First of all, it is my understanding that a talent is a certain measure of precious metal. Minas were worth about 3 months of wages, so a talent would have been worth about 15 years of wages.
Verse 29 says, "For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away". I believe this means that if we share what we have spiritually, we will gain more. We must all share according to our own ability; or according to our own spiritual understanding. If we gain all this knowledge and understanding and hoard it for ourselves (not share our light), we are like the Fig Tree that does not produce fruit ... we are useless.
This parable talks about the slaves using what they have been given, putting it out there to the universe and making it multiply. It's just like any other skill that you may acquire (like speaking another language for instance); if you do not use it, you will lose it. Knowledge is meant to be shared.
Granted, you do not get to heaven by your works, but you do get to heaven by having love without conditions in your heart. And actions are a byproduct of what is in your heart. Whatever is in your heart of hearts is what will shine through in your everyday life. Whatever you focus on the most is what you will become, and your actions will be the fruit (good or bad, depending on what you focus on).
Everyone has different abilities that they can share with others. Just because another person has had less education than yourself does not mean that you cannot learn spiritual truths from them. Creator uses every person around you to teach you what you need to learn.
Always keep in mind that every trial and tribulation is merely an opportunity to learn.
A line from my favorite movie says, "Whenever God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window". A writer by the name of Frank A. Clark once said, "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere". Xenophetes said, "All roads lead to possibility. Wherever the path takes you - enjoy it".
Life is full of obstacles that we can learn from. Then we can share this new knowledge and understanding with everyone around us. We must remember that listening is even more important than talking. We must share our knowledge and understanding with others, but we must also listen so they can share their knowledge and understanding with us as well. Communication is always a two way street.
by Dale L. Gustafson
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