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DLTK's Bible Stories for Children
Parable of the Talents

by Leanne Guenther

This story is called the Parable of the Talents.  A parable is a type of story Jesus would tell so we would learn something from it.

Jesus' stories had more than one meaning.  For example, this story is about talents which was a super large amount of money in Bible times.  Today a talent might be worth a million dollars!

A talent in this story can also mean our gifts or abilities.  Something special and amazing God gives just to you, almost like a super power.

The parable starts like this:  A man decided to go on a long trip, so he called his servants and asked them to take care of his house, his stuff and his money.

Keep in mind that the man in this story is like God and the man's servants are God's people (you and me!)  The man in this story trusted his servants and believed that they would take care of his special and valuable things.

The man decided to give one servant five talents of money (lets say that it's about five million dollars), to another he gave two talents (or two million) and to the last servant he gave one talent.  He gave each servant a large amount he thought they could handle or according to their ability.

Our abilities are our special gifts that God gave to each of us.  He made some of us smarter about some things than others.  Some of us are good at memorizing, some of us are better at certain sports, and some of us are better at knowing how to help others.  Some can solve problems better and some are more generous.  Our ability is something special we have that's different than anyone else.

Back to the story, the man left on his trip and the servants each did something with the money that they received. 

The man with the five talents went right away and used his money and got five more!  The man with the two talents also used his money wisely and gained two more talents.

But the man with one talent took his talent and buried it in the ground to keep the money safe.  He didn't even try to do something with it. 

He reminds me a bit like a dog that buries a bone.  He had lots of time to do something with his money.  He could've bought some seeds and planted a garden and made some money but he didn't do anything!

After a nice long trip the master came back and wanted to know what his servants did with his money.  The first man with the five talents said, "You trusted me with five talents and I made five more!" 

His master smiled and replied, "Great job, good and faithful servant!"  You are trustworthy with a few things so I will put you in charge of lots of things.  Come celebrate with me!

I think it's interesting that the master says he trusted him with a FEW things.  He gave him five million dollars!  That's ALOT of things.  But to this master it was small compared to what he would give and trust him with now.

Then the man with the two talents came and said, "You trusted me with two talents and I made two more!" 

His master smiled and replied, "Great job, good and faithful servant!"  You are trustworthy with a few things so I will put you in charge of lots of things.  Come celebrate with me!

Then the man who received the one talent came and told his master, "I know you work hard for your money, so I was afraid to lose any of it.  I decided to bury it and keep it safe.  Here is your one talent back."

The master was not impressed and said, You lazy servant!  At the very least you could've taken the money to the bank and you would've at least collected some interest from it."

He immediately took the talent away from the man and gave it to the first man who used his money to make more.

The point Jesus was trying to make is that if you use your special gifts and abilities God will give you more to keep doing these things you are good at.  He will trust you with so much more. 

If you have a chance to do something for God that he gave you special abilities for and you don't do it, you will lose your special gift.

God considers you very valuable and trusts you to do something for him using your gifts and abilities.  If you have a chance to do something and don't because you want to watch tv, play video games or because you just don't want to do anything; God will take that valuable gift and give it someone who is doing something with their gifts.

Maybe you're not sure what your special abilities are yet.  Ask your parents or teachers what they think you're gifts are. 

Listen and watch when others compliment you or notice something good about what you're doing.  To you it might be something small but to God it's a special and very valuable gift that only you can give.  If you keep using it God will continue to make it bigger and better.

Also try to encourage and compliment others if you notice something special in them.  Your friends, teachers and parents might forget that God put something special in them and you might see it.  Tell them that they're good at it and remind them that it's a special ability given to them by God.

 

 

 

 

 

Printable version of this story

 


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