25:15 talents. A talent was about six thousand denarii. See note on Matthew 20:10.
25:15 ability. The “Parable of the Talents,” as it has come to be known, deals not only with true and false Christian believers but also with future rewards in the heavenly kingdom. The Lord evaluates service and gives rewards in relation to the believer’s motivation and opportunity, expecting more from those with greater ability and opportunity. He rightly expects something, however, from every true believer, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). A life with no evidence of good works is not a life of authentic faith in Christ, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).
25:23 good and faithful servant. Note that Matthew 25:21 and Matthew 25:23 are identical. The two servants receive the same reward, even though one had earned five talents, the other only two. The principle is that rewards are based on quality, not quantity, of work.
25:24 I knew thee. The slothful servant shows by this statement that he did not really know the Lord at all, despite his profession. His unfruitfulness was proof that he was not a true servant at all, and thus deserved to be cast out by the Lord (Matthew 25:30).