“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” - Revelation 22:12
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 4


The Talents

Matthew 25:14–30

For He is as a man going abroad, who called his own servants, and delivered up to them his belongings. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one; to everyone according to his own ability; and straightway he went abroad.

And going, he who had received the five talents worked with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received the two, he also gained another two. But he who received one, departing, dug in the earth and hid his lord’s silver.

And after much time, the lord of those servants comes and reckons with them. And when he came who had received the five talents, he brought to him another five talents, saying, “Lord, thou didst deliver up to me five talents; behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.” And his lord declared to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful in a few things; I will appoint thee over many. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

And also when he came who had received the two talents, he said, “Lord, thou hast delivered up to me two talents; behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.” His lord declared to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful in a few things; I will appoint thee over many. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

And also he receiving the one talent, coming, said, “Lord, I knew thee, that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sowed, and gathering whence thou hast not scattered. And being afraid, going away I hid thy talent in the earth; behold, thou hast thine own.”

And his lord answering said to him, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I have not sown, and gather whence I have not scattered. Thou shouldest therefore have cast my silver to the bankers6, and when I came, I should have received my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has shall be taken away from him. And cast out the useless servant into the outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Burying the talent

TCR 527:2. Those who know what sin is, and still more those who know many things from the Word and teach them, and yet do not examine themselves, and consequently see no sin in themselves, may be likened to those who scrape up wealth and lay it up in chests and coffers, making no further use of it than to look at it and count it; also to those who gather into their treasuries jewels of gold and silver, or hide them in vaults, for the mere sake of being rich. Such are like the trader who hid his talent in the earth... (Matt. 25:25; Luke 19:20). They are also like the hard wayside and the stony places upon which the seed fell (Matt. 13:4, 5). Also like fig trees full of leaves but bearing no fruit (Mark 11:13).... They are like the five virgins who had lamps but no oil (Matt. 25:1–12).

TCR 527:3. Those who acquire from the Word much about charity and repentance, and who have abundant knowledge of its teachings, and yet do not live according to them, may be compared to gluttons, who stuff their food into their mouths in chunks, and swallow it without chewing, so that it remains undigested in the stomach, and when it passes out, it vitiates the chyle [spoils the nourishment], and brings on lingering diseases, from which they finally die a miserable death. And as such are without spiritual heat, however much light they may possess, they may be called winters, frozen grounds, arctic climates, and even fields of snow and ice.

AE 193. All the knowledges acquired from the Word that have not acquired spiritual life will be taken away from them. These words signify also the unexpected time of death, because death comes unexpectedly, and after death man remains to eternity in the state of that life which he acquired for himself in the world. For this reason man must be wakeful.

We receive different spiritual talents.

AC 2967:2. ...All who are being reformed and regenerated are gifted with charity and faith by the Lord, but each according to his capacity and his state. For there are evils and falsities with which man has imbued himself from infancy, which stand in the way of one person’s receiving a similar gift as another. These evils and falsities must be vastated before the man can be regenerated, and so far as there is something of heavenly and spiritual life left after vastation, this can be enlightened with truth and enriched with good. It is the remains, which are goods and truths from the Lord stored up with man, that then receive life. These goods and truths are acquired from infancy even to the time of reformation, with one person more, with another fewer.... [See also AC 7984 on page 18.]

6 Literally, “those at tables” (see AE 193:10)

Questions and Comments
  1. One idea of justice is that everyone should end up with the same material wealth. What does this parable indicate about that idea, if anything?
  2. How can we be wakeful and make good use of the spiritual and natural talents given to us by the Lord?
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