Matthew 25:25

ESV so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’
NIV So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
NASB And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’
CSB So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.'
NLT I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
KJV And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

What does Matthew 25:25 mean?

In Jesus' analogy, a master gave one servant five measures of money, another two, and the third servant just one (Matthew 25:14–15). The first two servants doubled their master's investment with them while he was away on a long journey. The third servant did not, and he is explaining why that is (Matthew 25:20–23). The third servant has explained his bitter perspective about his master: that he's a harsh person who benefits from the work and efforts of others (Matthew 25:24).

Now the servant says it was fear which led him to do nothing with the assets given him by the master. This suggests he was afraid of the master's response if he lost the money. To avoid that, he buried the money in the ground and now returns it. He concludes by saying, "have what is yours."

As the master's response will reveal, this servant's story doesn't quite ring true. After all, putting the money in a bank would have kept it just as safe and would have earned a little interest. The master's impending response isn't an admission of guilt, but a statement of logic. If the servant really sees the master this way, why wouldn't he have acted accordingly (Matthew 25:26–27)?

Some commentators suggest that perhaps this was an act of rebellion on the servant's part. He may not have wanted his hard master to make more money from his efforts, or he may have been bitter that the master gave him so much less than the other servants. Whatever his motive, this servant took the path of least resistance and simply did nothing instead of fulfilling his role of a servant or a slave.

That choice will cost him dearly.
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