Matthew 25:17

ESV So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
NIV So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.
NASB In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more.
CSB In the same way the man with two earned two more.
NLT The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.
KJV And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

What does Matthew 25:17 mean?

This passage of Scripture uses the Greek root word doulos, which can be rendered as "servant, bondservant, or slave." The scenario here helps explain the nuanced biblical meaning of the term, in comparison to the narrow sense of the modern English term "slave." The master in this story is going on a journey, leaving enormous personal wealth in the hands of three highly trusted servants. Clearly, these are not animals seen as property, but workers worthy of considerable trust. He intends them to use the money to make more money for him (Matthew 25:14–16).

The first and second servants doubled the money their master left with them. The context suggests they did this through their own personal effort. Rather than simply putting the money with some trading house, they stewarded the funds themselves. They made purchases and sold up, increasing the amount of their earnings. In short, they did business and made profits for their master, as he expected.

Jesus' parable is about how His followers should live while He is gone. This raises the question of what this money symbolizes in the lives of God's people. The answer, of course, comes in the way this very principle has influenced the English use of the term "talent." In Jesus' era, it referred to an extremely large sum of money. In this parable, "talents" represent assets given by a master to his servants to be used at their discretion. In modern use, a "talent" is most often thought of as a God-given natural ability. What is given to us, Christ's servants, are abilities, faith, spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit, or even maybe money and material resources.

The question Jesus raises is this: how we are investing what we've been given by God to earn returns for God?
What is the Gospel?
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