Many of us have pondered the meaning of the Parables, especially of the Parables of Minas/Talents. Leaving aside what we are “told in bible study” to believe, let’s look deeper. In Mt 25:14-30 is the Parable of the Talents, and in Luke 19:12-27 the Parable of the Minas. If the lesson to be learned was that faith in Christ shall be rewarded, on what basis are we to assume such? How could the giving of money in the parable be a metaphor for faith as a gift we receive from Christ? The parable is that a master puts his servants in charge of his assets while away on a trip, and upon his return assesses the stewardship of his servants.
Is the lesson just “use it or lose it”, a moral admonishment toward hard work? If so, what role might luck have played into the success of a servant, and what if one took higher risks that by luck played out to his benefit? Also, to the servant who gained nothing, a negative reward is given. But he hid his money from fear and thus was called a “wicked and slothful servant” and "cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’’. So for simply hiding the money and not taking a risk, he is admonished rather severely.
If the message is to use any and all God-given gifts in the service of God, on what basis are we to conclude that from the text, where only money is used to make more money? And if we do not use these God-given talents what does the parable tell us about the consequences, other than that he loses money? In the Matthew version, the master gave different amounts of money to each of the 3 servants “according to their abilities”. So he prejudged them, giving only 1 talent to the one who did not succeed. One could conclude that this is an example of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. It seems possible that this is only a parable about financial management issues and to be diligent about such. If the intent was a greater message of faith, why would Matthew or Luke not make that clearer to the audience?
I’m not looking for individual interpretations, about “what I think”, but rather a logical analysis of the words as recorded, and the basis on which we render an interpretation. I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this.