Mat 25.14-16 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents."
These talents were given only to His servants (pastors, church leaders, elders, etc.) and according to their abilities. Surprising, the servant who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
All the disciples of Jesus were fishermen earning their living with Matthew the rich tax collector, and they gave up all to follow Jesus. All His newly found disciples too gave up all to follow Him.
Act 4:34-35 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come, follow Me."
'Talents' cannot be money or wealth since all His disciples gave up all they had (jobs, properties, etc.) to follow Him. This is definitely against the teachings of our Lord Jesus. So if 'Talent' cannot be money then it is just the gifts of God.
The true meaning of Talents
These gifts of God (talents) of different measures were given only to His servants. At Pentecost, our Lord sent the Holy Spirit of different measures upon all His disciples (servants) who had being faithfully following Him for the last three years.
The initial 120 disciples received the gifts of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues as the most evident gift. These surprised those Jews from distant land, who came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, hearing the unlearned fishermen speaking their foreign home languages.
Act 1:5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Some disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Spirit of truth) displaying their knowledge and understanding of the words and will of God when they boldly preached accurately the OT and the gospel. Five thousand Jews accepted the Lord that very day and since then so many received His salvation through these talents given to His servants until almost 30% of the world today are supposedly Christians.
Mat 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Still some of His disciples received both the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire as we can see the persecutions and sufferings of Peter, John, Paul, etc. with Stephen being the first martyr.
Since the maximum 'Talents' given to any servant is only 5, let's look at the various gifts of God:-
1. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are 9. (Cor 12:7-11)
2. Appointments of God are 8. (1Cor 12:28)
3. Ministries of Christ are 5. (Eph 4:7,11 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift... And He Himself gave some [to be] apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,)
Can the 5 talents be the 5 ministerial gifts of Christ?