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27. INVESTING IN TALENTS (Matt.25:14-30)

BACKGROUND: One talent is the equivalent to 17 years' wages. There are three ways how to interpret receiving of the talents of this parable: A. They represent our abilities and spiritual gifts. B. They represent God's grace (the gospel). (Cf.Eph.4:7) C. They represent the means of grace, i.e. the Bible, baptism and Holy Communion.
  1. How much would one talent be worth in our currency today? How much two? What about five (verses 14-15)?
    • What do you think would be the best way to invest a sum equivalent to one talent in our time?
    • How many years do you think it would it take to double the sum?
    • Why is it not always easy to invest other person's money?
  2. What was the criterion by which the rich man divided his money (verse 15)?
    • What does it mean that the servants got different amounts of talents according interpretations A, B and C?
    • When and how did you get your talent(s) from God?
  3. How did the feelings of the servants towards their master influence their behavior?
    • In what different ways did the servants handle the situation of the master not returning soon (verse 19A)?
    • How does one "invest" one's spiritual gifts (A)? How does one "invest" God's grace (B)? What about the means of grace (C) (verse 16)?
    • How does one bury one's spiritual gifts into the ground? What about the gospel? And the means of grace (vs.18)?
    • Which of these interpretations do you think is right?
  4. What does verse 26 teach us about God?
    • In what situations have you felt that God is a hard man who requires the impossible from you (vs.24)?
    • What is wrong with the faith of a person who is like the third servant in the parable (vs.24-27)?
  5. When will the lazy servant have the only talent taking from him (vs.28)?
    • What does verse 29 mean in the light of interpretations A, B and C?
  6. Why was the punishment of the third servant so severe even though he hadn't actually embezzled his master's money (verse 30)? Think of each of the three interpretations again.
    • Why was Jesus himself punished like the wicked and lazy servant (vs.30)?
  7. What must we do, if we realize that we are wicked and lazy servants?
  8. What makes us Christians "invest" our talents?
    • Imagine of Jesus saying verse 21 to your on the Judgment Day. What will you answer him?

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