Jesus Wants A Return On His Investment

The parable of the talents has many similarities to the parable of investment (Lk. 19:12-27), which is the story of the tax-collector Zacchaeus coming to Christ as his King. In the story of the Parable of the Talents Jesus tells of a rich man who has three slaves. He gives each slave an amount of money, referred to as talents, based upon that man’s ability to steward and care for the money. The first steward is given five talents, the second is given two talents and the third is given one. The master told them to care for his money and the first two servants used the talents to trade and gain profit. They returned to their master with double the talents! The third servant was fearful and hid the one talent he was trusted with, returning just one talent to his master. The master scolded him saying that he should have invested the money and received interest.

What is the significance of the story? Jesus was about to go on a journey through death, burial, resurrection, and ascension and wanted to entrust all that He has, Himself, to His servants in grace. Jesus uses the Parable of the Talents to illustrate the Christian’s privilege and responsibility to experience Christ As Our Life! We have the most valuable gift of all, the Saving Life of Jesus Christ and He has invested Himself fully in us that we might fully be expressions of Him for His glory and the benefit of others.

What is the spiritual application for us today? Two of His servants were receptive and faithful. As we are receptive to God’s grace and allow His grace to be enlarged and grow through our endeavors, we experience an increasing abundance of Christ’s life. A good and faithful servant is a person who is functioning as God intends, thereby enjoying the joy of participating in God’s grace, and are available to even greater development of God’s grace through their lives. The other (unfaithful) servant is like the religionists of today who view God as a demanding and authoritarian God, living in fear of being judged based on their behavior. They minimize their grace opportunities, viewing God, as a rewarder of their performance. Fearful of not measuring up, they hid what God has entrusted to them and choose the safer route of religious rituals, neglecting to grow in relationship with what has been entrusted to them.

It seems clear that Jesus came that we might experience His life. Often people have confused his purpose for coming, thinking He would change things politically by setting up an earthly Kingdom. Jesus, the King, came to earth to receive a kingdom for Himself and to reign in people’s lives. He invests Himself in us in various ways, (in various talents) and intends for us to depend on His indwelling life to bring a “return of grace.” He does not intend for us to hoard (or burry) His resources for ourselves fearful of loss but desires us to “risk” investing “it all,” – our lives for others.

Religion hides the treasure of Jesus activity in safe places of ritual and morality fearing to invest all that God has entrusted due to self-interests. Self-interests are the flesh patterns of sin which one develops over the course of life that are derived from Mr. Selfishness himself, Satan. Satan is self-for-self. Learned selfish flesh patterns only look out for the interest of self for fear of loss.

Is this parable about money? Does God want us to invest wisely our financial resources? Or is there more implied than that? Interesting that you ask, the person that sent the request for us to talk about this parable, thought this parable only had to do with money and proper investment. No, it has to do with far more than just being good stewards of what God has entrusted us with monetarily. Yes, Jesus wants a return on His investment. But what kind of return does He want? It is Christ’s objective that His grace activity be enlarged as we are receptive to such in faith. His Grace is dynamic, active and alive, but therefore, risky because we do not know the outcome. We must learn to trust Him as we walk by faith doing as He says. Jesus reminds us, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). And again, he reminds us, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:26).

Many have had a narrow view of this passage of scripture and may have missed God’s intent. Religious belief has often robbed Christians of experiencing the extraordinary Life of Christ due to greedy concerns, as Paul wrote to Timothy, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). They have viewed God as a somber authoritarian judge who keeps ledgers of their performance (investment portfolio) and they fear not having profit, measuring up, performing according to religious standards. Jesus is however, a just and compassionate Savior who desires for us to experience Life As God Intended. In this way His investment of grace brings “capital gains” and enlarges our lives and characterizes us as a worthy investor of His grace. He gives “talents” (greater resources) that we might grow and expand in our functional capacity as recipients of His grace to bless others.

To those who are proven faithful investors he gives more and more and more grace. To those who refuse such, their opportunities for experiencing grace will be removed and given to those who have proven themselves trustworthy to be fully dependent on Christ having learned to derive from Him. For Christ is the treasure which was hid in the field (Matt 13:44). Too often the citizens of this world want a kingdom that they are in control and can cash-in on the benefits for themselves in materialistic goods and services which reveals their selfish motive. They thus hate Jesus and do not want Him to reign over them. They refuse the grace of God which is only realized by sacrificial giving of oneself to Christ without reservation.

A true investor of God’s grace is all in and holds nothing back. For to everyone who has will more be given, and they will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Jesus Wants a Return on His Investment, be a true investor of His grace and give your all.

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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