124 People have a responsibility to use what they have been given.

Matthew 25:14–30

In Jesus’ story, what is the significance of the traveler giving different amounts to the three men (Matthew 25:14–15)?

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Those who used their gifts saw a return in proportion to what they had (Matthew 25:16–17). People sometimes make huge investments and lose it all. Why didn’t Jesus include that possibility in his story?

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How damaging can the fear of failure be (Matthew 25:18)?

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Was the master’s reward a consequence of the servants’ effort or their results (Matthew 25:20–23)? Why?

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How did the servant with one bag view his success (Matthew 25:24–25)?

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What did the servant with one bag fear most (Matthew 25:25)? What should he have feared?

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Why was the servant rejected when he did what he thought was right (Matthew 25:26–30)?

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The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was about to travel to a distant country. He called his servants and made them responsible for his money while he was gone. According to their ability, he gave five bags of money to the first man, two bags to the second, and one bag to the third. Then he left.

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:14–15 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was about to travel to a distant country. He called his servants and made them responsible for his money while he was gone. According to their ability, he gave five bags of money to the first man, two bags to the second, and one bag to the third. Then he left.
King James

Matthew 25:14–15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

“The servant with five bags used the money in business transactions and made five more. The servant with two bags also used the money in business and made two more. But the servant with one bag dug a hole in the ground and hid the money.

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:16–18 “The servant with five bags used the money in business transactions and made five more. The servant with two bags also used the money in business and made two more. But the servant with one bag dug a hole in the ground and hid the money.
King James

Matthew 25:16–18 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

“After a long time, the man returned from his trip and asked his servants what they had done with his money.

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:19 “After a long time, the man returned from his trip and asked his servants what they had done with his money.
King James

Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

“The servant who had received five bags brought ten and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags, and I have gained five more.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:20 “The servant who had received five bags brought ten and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags, and I have gained five more.’
King James

Matthew 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

“‘Great job!’ the man said. ‘You are a good, trustworthy servant. Because you have been faithful with a little, I will now make you responsible for much more. Let’s celebrate together.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:21 “‘Great job!’ the man said. ‘You are a good, trustworthy servant. Because you have been faithful with a little, I will now make you responsible for much more. Let’s celebrate together.’
King James

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

“The servant who had received two bags brought four and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags, and I have gained two more.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:22 The servant who had received two bags brought four and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags, and I have gained two more.”
King James

Matthew 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

“‘Great job!’ the man said. ‘You are a good, trustworthy servant. Because you have been faithful with a little, I will now make you responsible for much more. Let’s celebrate together.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:23 ‘Great job!’ the man said. ‘You are a good, trustworthy servant. Because you have been faithful with a little, I will now make you responsible for much more. Let’s celebrate together.’
King James

Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

“The servant who had received one bag said, ‘Master, I knew how hard you are to please. You are like someone who expects a harvest but has planted no seeds. I was afraid I might lose your money, so I hid your bag in the earth. Here is your money, still safe.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:24–25 “The servant who had received one bag said, ‘Master, I knew how hard you are to please. You are like someone who expects a harvest but has planted no seeds. I was afraid I might lose your money, so I hid your bag in the earth. Here is your money, still safe.’
King James

Matthew 25:24–25 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

“‘You are a wicked, lazy servant,’ the man said. ‘If you knew I expect a harvest where I’ve planted no seeds, you should have invested with the moneychangers so I would have received my money with interest. Take the bag and give it to the one who has ten. People who put to good use what they have will gain more, but people who do nothing with what they have will lose what they have hidden. Throw this good-for-nothing servant outside in the darkness, where there will be bitterness and weeping.’”

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:26–30 “‘You are a wicked, lazy servant,’ the man said. ‘If you knew I expected an increase, and I expect a harvest where I’ve planted no seeds, you should have invested with the moneychangers so I would have received my money with interest. Take the bag and give it to the one who has ten. People who put to good use what they have will gain more, but people who do nothing with what they have will lose what they have hidden. Throw this good-for-nothing servant outside in the darkness, where there will be bitterness and weeping.’
King James

Matthew 25:26–30 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.