Chapter

Matthew 25:19

ESV Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
NIV After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
NASB Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them.
CSB "After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
NLT After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
KJV After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

What does Matthew 25:19 mean?

This passage is often called the "parable of the talents." The meaning of this passage is tied to the common modern use of the term "talent," as a reference to some God-given advantage. In the parable, a wealthy landowner goes away on a journey, leaving a massive fortune with three of his servants. He expects them to manage his money and put it to work. The first two servants double what the master left them. The third servant buries the portion given to him in the ground.

Now the master returns from his journey after a long time. This is the picture of Christ's return to the earth after being gone far longer than His followers may have expected (Matthew 24:50; 25:13). As Jesus' other parables have hinted, He too may not return for quite a long while. In the parable, when the master returns, he comes to settle accounts with his servants. He wants to see how much money they have made for him by using what he has given.

The master's purpose is for His servants to use those gifts appropriately, rather than wasting or ignoring them. In practice, for Christians, this means actively using whatever blessings we're given by God, according to His will.
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