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Matthew 25:14

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For the kingdom of heaven … - The “parable of the talents” was spoken still further to illustrate the manner in which he would deal with people at his return to judgment. The words “the kingdom, of heaven” are not in the original, but are very properly inserted by the translators. The design of the parable is to teach that those who improve their talents or faculties in the cause of religion who improve them to their own salvation and in doing good to others shall be proportionally rewarded; but they who neglect their talents, and who neither secure their own salvation nor do good to others, will be punished. The kingdom of heaven is like such a man - that is, “God deals with people in his government as such a man did.”

His own servants - That is, such of them as he judged to be worthy of such a trust. These represent the apostles, Christian ministers, professing Christians, and perhaps all people. The going into a far country may represent the Lord Jesus going into heaven. He has given to all talents to improve, Ephesians 4:8; Ephesians 2:12.

His goods - His property representing the offices, abilities, and opportunities for doing good, which he has given to his professed followers.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ keeps no servants to be idle: they have received their all from him, and have nothing they can call their own but sin. Our receiving from Christ is in order to our working for him. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. The day of account comes at last. We must all be reckoned with as to what good we have got to our own souls, and have done to others, by the advantages we have enjoyed. It is not meant that the improving of natural powers can entitle a man to Divine grace. It is the real Christian's liberty and privilege to be employed as his Redeemer's servant, in promoting his glory, and the good of his people: the love of Christ constrains him to live no longer to himself, but to Him that died for him, and rose again. Those who think it impossible to please God, and in vain to serve him, will do nothing to purpose in religion. They complain that He requires of them more than they are capable of, and punishes them for what they cannot help. Whatever they may pretend, the fact is, they dislike the character and work of the Lord. The slothful servant is sentenced to be deprived of his talent. This may be applied to the blessings of this life; but rather to the means of grace. Those who know not the day of their visitation, shall have the things that belong to their peace hid from their eyes. His doom is, to be cast into outer darkness. It is a usual way of expressing the miseries of the damned in hell. Here, as in what was said to the faithful servants, our Saviour goes out of the parable into the thing intended by it, and this serves as a key to the whole. Let us not envy sinners, or covet any of their perishing possessions.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Called his own servants - God never makes the children of men proprietors of his goods. They are formed by his power, and upheld by his bounty; and they hold their lives and their goods, as in many of our ancient tenures, quamdiu domino placuerit - at the will of their Lord.

Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 328.2

The Lord has given you talents to use, and in using these talents as He intended they should be used, you will have increased aptitude and wisdom and clear spiritual eyesight to understand His work. Your mind and eyes must watch for His appearing, your ears open to hear the faintest whisperings of His voice. Your knees He has made; use them in kneeling in prayer. He is your strength. By faith take hold of the Unseen. Let your feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel for running obediently in the way of His commandments. Your tongue and voice are a talent given you of God to tell the story of His life, of His lessons, of His death, of His resurrection, of His ascension. Your bodily strength is to be devoted to the Master in fighting the good fight of faith on the battlefield, overcoming His enemies with “It is written.” Your sympathies and energies belong to God. Use them to glorify your Redeemer.... TMK 328.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 273.1

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. Matthew 25:14. UL 273.1

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 349.2

The end is fast approaching and many in our churches are asleep. Let all now make it their chief business to serve the Lord. The Lord has entrusted to His people the talent of means, some more and some less than others. With many the possession of wealth has proved a snare. In their desire to follow the fashions of the world, they have lost their zeal for the truth, and they are in peril of losing eternal life. In proportion as God has prospered them, men should return to Him of the goods He has entrusted to their stewardship.... TDG 349.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 303.3

The Lord designs that the means entrusted to us shall be used in building up His kingdom. His goods are committed to His stewards, that they may be carefully traded upon, and bring back a revenue to Him in the saving of souls unto eternal life. And these souls in their turn will become stewards of truth, to cooperate with the great firm in the interests of the kingdom of God. TDG 303.3

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