In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.
The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.
In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.
Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.
During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.
Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.
Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.
A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.
The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.
Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.
Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.
What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”
Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.
For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!