Notice how the story started.
Matthew 25:14 NASB “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.”
So it is imagery – figurative.
To discuss this parable further, let’s see the end of the story:
Matthew 25:30 NASB “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Question: Will a believer be cast into “outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” for not using the talent/money God gave him to create more money?
We have repeatedly said that parables are dark speeches used by the prophets of the Old and Jewish rabbis to communicate certain truths to a certain audience. A parable would usually contain facts, fiction, and the lesson. They are illustrative and as such the details in the story do not always precisely depict the message. So a parable could be said to be a symbolically, fictitious narrative that conveyed a certain truth; which may be moral or spiritual. Not everything tiny detail is relevant.
The Facts of that story:
1. A Master
2. His free gift
3. Two categories of servants
4. Two destinies: one category enters into the joy of the Lord. They rule and reign as sons while the other is cast into outer darkness. Each arrives a destiny based on what they did with the free gift that is offered to them.
The characters did not really exist thus they didn’t have names. Jesus just created them for the purpose of the lesson.
The number of the talent was not relevant. All of them could have gotten the same number. In fact Jesus used a common number (one) for what was given to each servant another time when He told a similar story. The bankers never existed. Every other details/embellishment in the story is to flesh it up.
Have you seen any movie based on a true life story? The key truth of the story may be retained but other fictitious events, characters, and fine details may be used to build up the plot to make the point emphatic.
Both categories of servants were individually entrusted with a gift – the riches of the Master’s grace. One set mixed it with faith and were promoted from servants to rulers. They became partners, joint-heirs. They that receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life. Sons rule in a house and servants don’t.
The other category scorned the free gift that was given to him and rejected the Lord’s grace, since he did not earn it. He thrashed the grace of God instead of using it. He rejected the gospel and did not mix the word he heard with faith and so, it did not profit him.
Everywhere Jesus spoke of outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12, Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 24:51, Matthew 25:30, Luke13:28), He was describing the fate of those that reject Him, life outside of Him – a destiny without God, a loss, the opposite of the “joy of the Lord.” Nobody gets cast into outer darkness for not making more money or creating wealth out of their talent. Neither was it that the wicked servant became poorer in life and died in poverty. The issue at stake here is more serious that poverty and material wealth.
The story is a picture of faith and unbelief. The summary is about where the two categories of servants ended. What did they do with God’s riches of grace that was extended to them?
I hope this is clear.