What is the Real Meaning of the Talents Given?

I am sure many here know the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), but how many really understand what is being said here?

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On the Internet I found this etymology of the word “Talent”:

The use of the word “talent” to mean “gift or skill” in English and other languages originated from an interpretation of this parable (referencing Matthew-Ed.)  sometime late in the 13th century.

I found that very interesting, as I believe most people recognize that the meaning behind this parable is that what God gives us we should use. The one servant who didn’t use what was given to him was thrown out into the darkness, whereas the ones that gave back the talents they received, with interest, were welcomed into their Master’s joy, which means they were to share in the joy that God feels when his children do what pleases him.

Nice story. And I am sure that most people concentrate on the two faithful servants who were welcomed into their Master’s joy. I mean, really…who wouldn’t want to associate themselves with those two?

The question is: what makes us think we can be like those two?

Is being a “good person” good enough? I don’t think so, and I’ll tell you why.

Yeshua himself said that no one is good except his Father in heaven (Mark 10:18), so we can be pretty sure that no human is ever going to be “good”, at least not in the eyes of the Lord. That kills the “be a good person and you go to heaven” argument right there.

So, nu?  If no one can be good, then what do we need to do to be considered a good and faithful servant? The answer is right here in this parable: we need to take the talents God has given us and increase them. This is where the idea that a talent is more than a unit of monetary measure comes in- it is a gift, something that we receive from God without asking, and which God wants us to use for his glory.

My talent is teaching. I have had this confirmed to me by many people over the years, and also (believe it or not) God has given me a sense of humor, which has helped me in being able to maintain interest during my teaching. It has also gotten me into a lot of trouble when I didn’t use it in a way that glorifies God. The talents God has given me are increased each time I get a new subscriber to my website or YouTube channel (hint…hint) or when someone buys one of my books, which I believe (and pray) are glorifying God and helping people to understand his word better. That is why on the bottom of my Home page I quote from Hosea 4:6:  “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” This ministry is a teaching ministry: I am not trying to make converts or to be a missionary: I just want to give people the correct information and they can decide what they are going to do with it.

What talents did God give you? Don’t feel bad if you aren’t sure, and don’t cop-out by saying, “I am good parent” or “I am a good friend”, because Yeshua already killed that argument when he said even sinners will not give their child a snake if they ask for a fish or a friend a stone if they ask for bread. Even sinners share good things with those whom they love and who love them, so just being what the world considers to be a “good person” is no different than burying your talents.

When God spoke to Abraham, he did what God said. Not after thinking about it, not after waiting for the harvest, but the very next morning. And even though Moses took some convincing, he (eventually) learned to do as God said right away. Many of our biblical heroes did as God said pretty much as soon as God said it, and the ones that didn’t or hesitated for a while, well…we don’t know who they are because they didn’t make it into the Bible.

Our God is a God of action, not of sitting around watching for signs and waiting to be given what you need. He wants us to demonstrate our faith by starting something as if we already knew what was going to happen.

You need to determine what talent(s) God has given you and increase them. If you are compassionate, volunteer at a Senior’s Home or with people in need; if you are good with money, volunteer to help at your house of worship with the accounting, or at non-profits who could use the help. If you are good with animals, volunteer at an animal hospital (my wife, Donna, has been volunteering for about 4 years at a local wildlife hospital.) The idea is that you need to increase your talents so that when you face the Lord you will have something to give him that shows you have increased what he gave you.

Here is one last thought that most people don’t want to consider: These three servants were ALREADY members of the Master’s household! Think about that; it means that they were all already “saved”, but the one who failed to do anything with the talents God gave was kicked out!

Think about what that means.

So go forth this very day and if you know what talents God has given you, start to increase them. If you’re not sure what your talents are, think of what you do that makes you feel really good and start there.  Anyone can bring glory to God simply by showing how “talented” you are and giving the credit to the Lord.

Thank you for being here and please, if you missed the hint above, subscribe to this website to help me increase the talents I have been given. You can also “like”my Facebook page and invite others to, as well. You can get to it from this link:

Messianic Moment Facebook

Thank you so much for being here, have a blessed day, and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!


Can We Blame God for Who We Are?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)


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I don’t think any of us doubt that God has given us gifts and talents. We learn about these gifts as we grow older through our interactions with others, and they are developed based on our experiences.

But what about when these “gifts” cause trouble for us? For example, I have been gifted with a sense of humor, but this humor of mine has developed with a “blue” side to it that just doesn’t seem to want to go away.  Consequently, I sometimes (thankfully a lot less than I used to) make a joke that is funny, but not to everyone hearing it.

We all know someone who has an intellect that is remarkable, but they don’t know how to react to social clues and often their intellect makes it nearly impossible for anyone to relate to them, and vice-versa.

A gift that is God-given which has resulted in pain or social ostracization for the donee makes me wonder if we can blame God for this problem. After all, he gave me that gift, he made me the way I am, so why should I change? Why should I try to be different than what I am if God made me this way?  If so many other people don’t like what I say, maybe that’s because they aren’t spiritual or understanding that this is a gift from God?

There is definitely something to the idea that what the world hates is probably something that God likes, but that isn’t a cop-out to be impolite, to be judgmental, or to ignore your effect on other people.

My answer to this question is no- we cannot blame God for the way we act in society. We can thank God for whatever gift(s) he has given us, but the bottom line is that we need to use these gifts in a way that will glorify God. That is the key; that is the answer to the question “Why am I this way?”

We are what we are because God made us a certain way in order that we can glorify him.  The gifts and talents God gives us are there to be used in his favor, for his purposes and to glorify him. When we use them to glorify ourselves (such as me telling a “dirty” joke because I know the guys I am with will like it) that gift is sullied and stained with pridefulness. When we take the insight God has given to some for teaching but use it to generate dissension and argument, just so that we can come into that argument (we started) and then tell everyone what we know, that is not edifying anyone or glorifying God- that is ego and pride misusing God’s gift.

God has a plan for everyone- I truly believe that. Whether someone is a Believer or an Atheist, God can use that person for his purposes in order to bring about whatever plan he has. We saw Pharaoh used to introduce God to the world; we saw Moses used to show God’s protection and love for his people; we saw Daniel used along with Nebuchadnezzar to tell us about the coming of Messiah and the future of the world. We saw John used to let us know how the Acharit HaYamim (End Times) will come about and what to expect.

Look to see what God has done in your life to use you and others. I know in my life he has used both Believers and non-Believers to shape and develop me into what he wants. I am still somewhat of a blob, still being shaped, but I can see a difference from where I started to where I am now.

This ministry is, I believe, what God wants me to share. I believe he has given me a gift for teaching (which has been confirmed by many others who are Believers and spiritually mature) that I am trying to use in order to edify and teach others about God. I try to use this ministry to reach out to those in a more “worldly” way to teach them about the spiritual truths. As Shaul, that nice Jewish tent-maker from Tarsus once said, I will do and say whatever I have to d and say to get the Gospel out to people.

And despite my attempts, I find myself still falling back into the self-centered use of some of God’s gifts to me. It is an uphill battle to fight our own iniquity, but it is a battle we must never stop fighting.

We must use the gifts and talents that God has given us and bring them back to him with interest. Remember the parable about the Master who gave talents (meaning money) to his slaves before traveling? When he returned, the two slaves that gave him back double what he had given them were welcomed into their Master’s joy. The one who did nothing with the talent he was given was called wicked and sent into the darkness.

What gifts has God given you? Are you aware of them? The most important question of all: are you using them to glorify God? Search yourself if you aren’t sure, and when you do discover the gifts God has given you, use them to glorify him and you will be rewarded with blessings on earth, and in the Olam Haba (world to come) you will be welcomed into your Master’s joy.

Promise or Threat?

I once knew someone who saw the “If:Then” statement not as a conditional event, but as a threat. If you promised something good, that was always nice, but if the promise was conditional, then it was a threat. If I said I will do this if you do that, doing my side of the agreement was expected, but the idea that I would not do what I promised if the other side of the agreement was reneged on? What I heard was, “How dare you threaten me!”

God makes promises to us that are conditional. Even the promise of salvation is conditional: after all, don’t we have to ask for it? If we ask for it, He is good to grant it (all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved) but it takes more than that. Throughout the Manual we are told that it is by faith alone we are saved, but that also is conditional because Yacov (James) tells us that faith without works is dead. God’s promise of salvation is like a spiritual bank account: we don’t need to deposit a penny to open it up, we just need to ask for it, and whatever we put into it we are guaranteed to gain interest. When we appear before God at His Throne of Judgement, we turn in our bank book and receive what we are due: that’s when we receive God’s side of the promise. If our URA (Ultimate Retirement Account) has had many deposits placed into it, when we turn it back in to God we receive a tremendous return, just as He promised; however, if we have not made any deposits, it is no more valuable than what we originally paid into it: nothing! And that is exactly what we will receive. Make deposits, be told to enter into the joy; have an account with nothing in it, be turned away into the darkness where people wail and gnash their teeth.

That’s right- your salvation is guaranteed if, and only if, you meet your end of the promise, which is to produce good fruit, to make deposits, to have more to present back to God than what He gave you to start with.  In D’varim (Deuteronomy) 16, when we are told about how to appear before the Lord at the three festivals which are celebrated in Yerushalayim, we are told not to appear before the Lord empty handed. I believe this has a deeper meaning than just regarding the sacrifices: I believe that we are being told whenever we come before the Lord we should bring something with us to present to Him. And at the Last Days, the Final Judgement, when we come before the Lord, God expects us to present to Him our faithful fruit: the good works we have performed as a sign of our repentance and T’Shuvah. If we come empty handed, we will be turned away.

Face it, people: there is no free lunch, not even at God’s table! We are told by well-meaning religious leaders (probably because it sounds so attractive) only how salvation is a free and irrevocable gift. That’s true: when we confess our sins, ask for God’s forgiveness and accept Yeshua as our Messiah, we receive the gift of salvation from God. No one can take that from us- no one! But we can throw it away, and many do, I am sorry to say, without even realizing it. I think that’s because we understand “free” to mean unconditional, but that is wrong. We receive the gift, we are given a guaranteed place in heaven, but we still have to show up with our offering or we don’t get in. And that offering is the fruit of our salvation: our history of good works, the proof of our T’Shuvah. No fruit, no entry. He kept His promise but we reneged.

Instead of being told salvation is “free”, we really should be told salvation is “priceless”. We can’t buy it, we can’t earn it, we can only receive it by asking, but it isn’t “free” because we do have to do contribute into it for it to be redeemable.

Remember the parable about the Master who gives his three servants talents before he goes on a trip? The two returned more than he gave them and were welcomed into their Master’s joy, but the third did nothing with his talent, and returned only what he was given. He was thrown out into the darkness.

There’s also the parable about the fruit tree in the garden that was tended but gave no fruit. After a few years of fruitless existence, the owner of the garden said to uproot the tree and throw it out of the garden.

The parables Yeshua gave us about having to do something with the gift we receive are, to me, undeniable. Yes, salvation is free when we receive it, but unless we put something into it it will be worthless when we redeem it. And yes, it is irrevocable in that God gave it and no one can take it away, and God will not ask for us to return it, but He expects it to be returned to Him with interest. If we fail to water that tree and produce fruit, or we bury it and do nothing with it to make it worth more, we will reap what we have sown.

This is a hard word to hear, but it is the truth: salvation is free but it is conditional, and God’s promises are real and totally trustworthy but we have to live up to our side of the agreement to receive them.

The promise is eternal joy, and the condition is that we will be saved from our own sin if we (1) confess it, if we (2) accept Yeshua (Jesus) as our Messiah, and if we (3) do T’Shuvah (atonement) and live the rest of our lives producing fruit so we do not come empty handed before the Lord at the Final Judgement.

We are told that it is all just so easy- call on His name and be saved! Halleluya!! Well, that’s true, but that isn’t all of it: you need to change, you need to pay into your salvation, and God’s promise is worth exactly what you put into it, so when we keep our side he will keep His side. It’s that simple, it’s that plain, it’s that way.

The good news is that God always keeps His promises: the bad news is that we most often don’t.  I strongly urge all of us, me included, to make sure this is one time we don’t mess up.