There’s an interesting parable found in Matthew 25. Jesus tells the story of money given by a business owner to some of his workers as he goes on a trip. Each worker invests, except for the one who receives the smallest amount. This man buries the money, never looks at it, but doesn’t lose it. It’s there, it’s safe, it does no one any good. When the owner returns the man digs up the money and says, “See look, I still got it!”. The money is taken from him and given to the one who had been given the most (and earned the most on it). Now it’s his turn to see what he can do with it!
There are a million ways to view this parable (one of the reasons Jesus taught this way). One of my personal favorites is to consider the money as a precious gift from God. His word the Bible. Now I know many of us have heard this taught as a parable regarding ‘our’ talents in use and other ways we can invest in the kingdom of God. But let me suggest a powerful ‘new’ way to look at Jesus teaching here. When we make this about His word – our abilities, talents and even our shortcomings are no longer the main point of the parable. The master’s gift is.
When the money (talents in many translations) represents the word of God in our lives. We can begin to ask questions of ourselves. Like: How much precious teaching from the Bible has God put into my life up to now? And: How much have I done with the instruction God has given me from His word?
The parable prior to this one regards ‘preparation’ and the prophecy of scripture and following this parable on the talents Jesus talks about the coming judgement day and how care for others in this present age. In between I believe is a parable that asks each of us what we have done with the great gift of God in our lives. Have we buried God’s word to ‘protect’ it? Or are we putting it into practice in our lives? This parable answers the question of every person who says, “I don’t know the Bible as well as I should, so how can I tell anyone about it”?
Here is a short list of 7 things our great treasure, the Bible says it can do for us.
1. 2 Tim. 3:15 Make us ‘wise to salvation’.
2. Rom. 15:4 Give us hope.
3. Jn 6:63. Give us ‘Spirit and life’.
4. Jn 15:3 Make us ‘clean by the word’.
5. 1 Peter 1:23 Make us ‘born anew’.
6. James 1:21 ‘able to save us’.
7. Ps 107:20 Delivers us from destruction.
These are great treasures. Treasures we can keep for ourselves, or tell others about!
Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on human thought. For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ. (HCSB)
I believe the Bible IS this revelation. Jesus quoted often from the Old Testament, He was careful to fulfill the prophecy contained in it and He quoted from it when He told people who He was ( communicating the Gospel). He quoted from the OT as He healed and acted in ministry. He even quoted the OT as He hung on the cross.
So here is the question that has haunted me as we heard the call of God sending us on this Journey into the unknown.
“Am I trained well enough to move forward with a handicap? Will my weaknesses be exposed, or should I bury what ‘little’ I’ve been given to keep it all ‘safe’ for the Lord? Am I not investing in God’s word because I am: worried, discouraged, have a lack of focus, am ungrateful, afraid, or not attentive to God’s call on my life?”
“God must be true, even if everyone is a liar” (HCSB)
In this world it is tough to find something stable to hang onto in the midst of so much change, grief and death. We believe God’s word is true and it provides the full authority to govern our lives and actions. God inspired it, protects it and gives it as an amazing treasure to us to invest in for the common good of those in our community. Not for us to keep it to ourselves.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (HCSB)
Everything God has commanded – That’s solid Bible teaching. It’s what we are called to do. Whether we know a little or a lot.
Sounds like a call to go on a Journey.
Along the way it’s not about our shortcomings, it’s about His word.
He gave us a guide, He gave us a gift. Let’s use it, invest it and focus on it and not on us.
The strength of His word propels us forward to invest.