Both Matthew and Luke recount Jesus' parable of the talents (a talent in this context is a large amount of money), though the two versions of the parable vary somewhat in the details. Matthew 25:14–30 probably provides the text of more sermons, and therefore Matthew's version of the parable is more familiar than Luke's version. In it, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to a man traveling to a far country. He called his servants to him to entrust his assets to them, giving five talents to one, two talents to a second, and one to a third.
The church taught for centuries that Jesus prohibited lending at interest. Though Jesus isn't advocating market investing and speculation, this parable has more recently been used to support lending and investing at interest, which, over the centuries, has virtually obliterated the earlier church teaching that charging interest on loans or paying dividends on investments constitute the sin of usury.
The first two servants managed to double their assets on the master's behalf, but the third buried his share of the money. When the master returned after a long time and reckoned with them, he said “well done thou good and faithful servant” to each of those people who doubled their funds and promised to entrust them both to many more assets in the future.
But when the third servant boasted that he had not lost his talent but buried it to keep it safe, the master said, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one 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.”
Though many sermon illustrations have rung interpretations on this parable related to financial stewardship and wise investment, as well as making the most of the “talents” God has given you, the parable's weight is directed to faith and grace. To the person who has faith, God will give more, and to the one who lacks trust and obedience, God will not give faith or grace to believe, so even his doubts will harden into disbelief.