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.