New writing by Jay Ferris:
During a walk in the woods with friends once in 1999, the following understanding of “the parable of the talents” came to light for me from one of them, in context of relationships. (Matthew 25:14-30)
Looking at the one slave who buried his talent, we must understand that the application to the Kingdom of God has little or nothing to do with financial investment, putting money in a bank, or even burying it in the ground. The Lord is speaking about “high risk” investment, however, as contrasted with the relative safety of money in the bank.
In the Kingdom of God, the currency of God is love, and the investment is in relationships. Jesus is the investor. He staked everything on relationships, first of all His relationship with His Father, and then with His Father as the backer, He invested everything in us who believe. He is after a return on this investment in relationships, and lots of them. Jesus’ Father is looking for fellowship. When the Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, He went away and left the job to us, John 20:20-26.
By His death, He made a deposit into our lives, and the Holy Spirit continues to bring us even more of Him. Jesus is looking for a return on that investment. Jesus knows what it is to risk rejection, and be rejected, Isaiah 53:3. He expects us to take the same risk, and invest ourselves in others.
For the slave who had very little experience with the Lord, there were two problems: one a problem of perception, and the other, a very real fear, Matt. 25:24-25.
If we have no sense that the Lord has sown anything of substance into our lives; if we know little or nothing of Him, we have a very false impression. We don’t see ourselves as having enough to take a chance on reaching out to others. The downside risk is that of rejection – rejection now, and rejection on the day when we must all give account.
The Lord has promised us a return on our investment, in this present age as well as the next.
One hundred times as much as what we are willing to invest, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers (Luke’s account reads, ‘parents’) and children… Mark 10:29-30
How are you doing with
the investment of your life?
From “Are You Worried Yet? Where is Money Taking Us” by Jay Ferris.
Everything comes to Love and Love is relative, relationship. I think, too often we try to claim that investment for ourselves, meaning that we give love in order to receive love, but that is not the way of perfect love.
A little yeast leavens all the dough, the tiny mustard seed grows into a very large tree. As we allow His ‘leaven’ to work within us, we then desire to shrare with others.
His Love establishes us ‘in’ Love, therefore we become like Him, willing to lay our life down for all ‘in’ The Name of Love.
I was dwelling on your words here. And something came to me regarding risk. What is the actual and hidden risk of love? Not being loved in return? No. That is not the risk, because Perfect Love loves wholly and freely. So, what is the risk? Loosing our First Love, in other words, becoming bitter and loosing sight of His Love within us. This is the risk of Love in us. It is His risk because He is the Love in us with whom we love. He is still taking risks and still sacrificing Himself in us, so that we may be Perfected, be Completed, made Whole with Love.
Some good thoughts, Kat. It especially jumped out to me, something in your previous comment, about relationships not being being our own claim. I am reminded of Jesus saying in John 17 of His disciples, “I pray for them, for they are Yours, and you gave them to me”. But they never stopped being His Father’s either.
Pamela, spot on!, your comment. Our relationships are not ours. They are ‘backed’ by the Father!
Kat, you’re comment really resonated with me!
“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Mat. 11:6)
OK Kat, still resonating here.
Until love has been perfected, man will fear rejection, which I believe to be Jay’s point here. Losing your first love, as you offered, has the same source of unbelief as the fear of rejection: the failure of love’s perfection; it is the fear that has to do with punishment.
I found your statement of ‘losing your first love’ to be very profound in relation to this blog. It reminded me of the errant teaching of tithing found in churches today, especially Malachi 3. One of the biggest guilt trips laid on the congregation is verse 8. “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings.”
As Jay stated, this has nothing to do with finances. Everything in the flesh is a shadow of the spiritual realm (if we will but look for it). Verse 10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this…”, I believe this is right in step with the parable of the talents. The whole tithe is not 10 percent of what we produce by the sweat of our brow but the whole portion that God has given His children in the way of gifts, revelations, encouragement, inspiration, etc., “…that there be bread in the house.” This is the fullness of Christ in the assembly, according to the faith He alone has given us.
“…for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12,13) This is love perfected!
So, back to your comment. Jesus does continue to suffer within each of those whom He has sent His Spirit to dwell in. Yet so many think He’s kicked back on His throne, just waiting for His bride. Your statement, “…becoming bitter and losing sight of His Love within us.” perfectly describes the servant who received the one talent, which also parallels the heart of unbelief in Malachi 3:14-15: “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.'”
In contrast, we find belief to look like this: “Unless you become like one of these little ones…”. When we surrender to the indwelling Spirit of Jesus, we will rely on the Fathers provision, depend on Him for guidance, desire to share what has been freely given us, be quick to forgive, unafraid to associate with others, and gaining friends, some 30, some 60, some 100. This is the nature of perfect love, lacking fear, immune to punishment. It is the fearless expression of a beautiful wild flower in a desolate pasture!
( http://outlawforchrist.com/the-garden-of-love/ )
Paul, Well said brother!
Paul, nicely said. I appreciate your expansion on my comments!
Thank you for sharing this article ~ so grateful for this reminder! There is so much to glean in this word. I’ll be gathering for quite a while.
The Greeks wanted to ‘see’ Jesus and His reply was something they did not understand. Thought I’d share the Scripture reference in John 12 … Jesus answering the Greeks:
Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Joh 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
Joh 12:33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
Joh 12:34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
Joh 12:35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.
Joh 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
Joh 12:37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,
Joh 12:38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
Joh 12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
Joh 12:43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Joh 12:44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
Joh 12:45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
Joh 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
Joh 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
This article by Jay Ferris, is so timely. Grateful for this reminder.