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“ First the slave with five talents approached and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents; see here, I have gained five more.’” (Mt 25:20 mhm)

See Calvin_Bible 05068

20. And he who had received five talents.

Those who employ usefully whatever God has committed to them are said to be engaged in trading. The life of the godly, {1 } is justly compared to trading, for they ought naturally to exchange and barter with each other, in order to maintain intercourse; and the industry with which every mall discharges the office assigned him, the calling itself, the power of acting properly, and other gifts, are reckoned to be so many kinds of merchandise; because the use or object which they have in view is, to promote mutual intercourse among men.

Now the gain which Christ mentions is general usefulness, {2 } which illustrates the glory of God. For, though God is not enriched, and makes no gain, by our labors, yet when every one is highly profitable to his brethren, and applies advantageously, for their salvation, the gifts which he has received from God, he is said to yield profit, or gain, to God himself. So highly does our heavenly Father value the salvation of men, that whatever contributes to it he chooses to place to his own account. That we may not become weary in doing well, (#Ga 6:9), Christ declares that the labor of those who are faithfully employed in their calling will not be useless.

According to Luke, he says that he who gained five pounds obtains the government of five cities; by which words he informs them, that the glory of his kingdom will be very different at his last coming from what it now appears. For now {3 } we have labor and anxiety in managing, as it were, the affairs of an absent master; but then he will have at his command an ample and copious supply of honors, to ennoble and enrich us. The form of expression employed by Matthew is more simple, Enter thou into the joy of thy master; by which he means that faithful servants, whose discharge of duty shall meet with his approbation, will share with himself a blessed abundance of all good things.

But it is asked, What is meant by what is added, Take from him the talent, and give it to him who hath ten talents? For every kind of trading will then be at an end.
I reply, We ought to keep in remembrance what I formerly mentioned, that those who insist on explaining, with exactness, every minute phrase, are mistaken. The true meaning is, though slothful and unprofitable servants are now endued with the gifts of the Spirit, yet they will at length be deprived of them all, that their wretched and shameful poverty may redound to the glory of the good. Now these slothful persons, Christ tells us, hide either the talent or the pound in the earth; because, while they consult their own ease and gratifications, they refuse to submit to any uneasiness; as we see very many who, while they are privately devoted to themselves and to their own advantage, avoid all the duties of charity, and have no regard to the general edification. When it is said that the master of the house, after his return, called the servants to account; as this ought to impart courage to the good, when they understand that they do not lose their pains, so the indolent and careless, on the other hand, ought to be struck with no small terror. Let us therefore learn to call ourselves daily to account, before the Lord come, and make a reckoning with us.

———— –

{1 } “Des fideles”;  — ” of believers.”

{2 } “C’est le profit ou l’avancement de toute la compagnie des fideles en commun”;  — ” it is the profit or advancement of the whole company of believers in common.”

{3 } “En ce monde”;  — ” in this world.”

+

Preceding

Calvin looking at Matthew 25:1-12: The kingdom of heaven and foolishness

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:15: To every one according to his own ability

Comments on: "Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:20: And he who had received five talents" (3)

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