Thursday, 25 February 2021
Title: Investing into God’s Kingdom
By Dr. Tho Lye Mun
Parables of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
The bible talks about investment. More specifically, Jesus did. Just as the topic of investment is at the forefront of modern day Malaysia, it was also something in the hearts and minds of people of that day.
The parable starts off with the Master needing to go off on a journey, whilst entrusting 3 of his servants “talents” (a talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a labourer). To one he gave 5, to another 2 and to the last 1 talent. Whilst it is unclear exactly what the first two did with their talents, but it appears they endeavoured in some kind of business activity or investment to double the wealth entrusted to them, albeit an already considerable amount to begin with. The Master was pleased with them. However, the third servant hid his sole talent in the ground and he returned no gains. This displeased the Master.
Every investment comes with risks. There is hardly any risk parking our money in a bank account or safety deposit box, but there is almost zero gain. There is a bit more risk putting it in an established investment or insurance linked fund (of course there is a slim chance of bankruptcy) but there is less gain. There is a lot MORE risk starting a business or investing into the markets, but this approach takes bravery, a lot of thought, effort and persistent hard work to ensure the success of the venture. You could lose everything, or you could reap a reward multiple times over. Jesus says the Kingdom of God is like this.
I believe the choice of the word “talents”, to describe wealth in the passage, has intentional literal implications for us today. Jesus’ message to us is that He entrusted each of us with gifts and skills, “to each according to his ability” (vs15). The range of talents given to us is endless – intelligence, music, kindness and so forth. For some, they are blessed with health or youthful energy. For some it is wisdom, experience, organisational ability. For others it may be material resources and the ability to generate wealth. Are we using all of this to glorify Him and multiply His Kingdom?
However, like any investment, putting ourselves “on the line” can present risks to our reputation, sometimes our safety, sometimes our wealth. Are we willing to lose our “talents” for the sake of gaining Kingdom territory? Or are we hiding in the ground? If we never tell anyone about Jesus, we will never get rejected. If we never imagine God’s glory, we will never be disappointed our friends and relatives do not see the wonder. The third servant decided to play it safe, but I believe it stemmed from his fundamental misunderstanding of God, that He is a “harsh” rule-follower who punishes anyone who steps out of line. I believe God wants us to take risks and use the talents He has given us in the most creative, imaginative and wonderful ways possible to serve Him. We serve a God who is the biggest risk-taker, He gave up everything to come and save us even though we may reject Him.
Help us, Lord, to use the wonderful talents and gifts You have blessed us with to multiply Your Kingdom. As we step out and take risks in Your name, may this be the most exciting adventure of our lives, for we know You are there with us every step of the way.
When the master returned the He said 23 “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
经文：马太福音25：14-30 才干的比喻（Parable of the talents）
话说主人要往国外，临行前把仆人叫到跟前，将家业交托给他们， （那时1千银子，即1 talent ，相当于一个人工作20年的薪酬），他给一个仆人5千银子（5 talents），一个2千银子（2 talents ），最后一个1千银子（1 talent）。第一、二个仆人拿了巨额银子从事买卖或投资，详情不得而知，但他们都赚了双倍的利润，主人因而感到十分满意，但第三位仆人却将银子埋在地下，依旧把1千银子还给主人，主人为此而不悦。