A WICKED AND SLUGGISH SLAVE
14, 15. Was Jesus indicating that a large number of his anointed brothers would prove to be wicked and sluggish? Explain.
14 In the parable, the last slave buried his talent instead of doing business with it or even depositing it with the bankers. This slave showed a bad spirit, for he deliberately worked against the master’s interests. The master rightly pronounced him “wicked and sluggish.” The master took the talent away from him and gave it to the one who had ten. The wicked slave was then thrown “out into the darkness outside.” “There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth” would be.—Matt. 25:24-30; Luke 19:22, 23.
15 One of the master’s three slaves hid his talent, so was Jesus here indicating that one third of his anointed followers would prove to be wicked and sluggish? No. Consider the context. In the illustration of the faithful and discreet slave, Jesus spoke of an evil slave who beat his fellow slaves. Jesus was not there foretelling that an evil slave class would arise. Rather, he was warning the faithful slave not to display the traits of an evil slave. Similarly, in the illustration of the ten virgins, Jesus was not indicating that half of his anointed followers would be like the five foolish virgins. Instead, he was warning his spiritual brothers about what would happen if they lost their sense of vigilance and did not prove to be prepared.* In this context, it seems reasonable to conclude that in the illustration of the talents, Jesus was not saying that a large number of his anointed brothers during the last days would be wicked and sluggish. Rather, Jesus was warning his anointed followers of the need to remain diligent—to ‘do business’ with their talent—and avoid the attitudes and actions of a wicked slave.—Matt. 25:16.