Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 10
DAY 1 OF 5
One of Jesus’ most significant parables regarding work is set in the context of investments (Matt. 25:14-30). A rich man delegates the management of his wealth to his servants, much as investors in today’s markets do. He gives five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second, and one talent to the third. Two of the servants earn 100 percent returns by trading with the funds, but the third servant hides the money in the ground and earns nothing. The rich man returns, rewards the two who made money but severely punishes the servant who did nothing.
The meaning of the parable extends far beyond financial investments. God has given each person a wide variety of gifts, and he expects us to employ those gifts in his service. It is not acceptable merely to put those gifts on a closet shelf and ignore them. The return God expects of us is commensurate with the gifts we have been given. The gifts we receive from God include skills, abilities, family connections, social positions, education, experiences, and more. The point of the parable is that we are to use whatever we have been given for God’s purposes.
Yet the particular talent invested in the parable is money, on the order of a million U.S. dollars in today’s world. In modern English, this fact is obscured because the word talent has come to refer mainly to skills or abilities. But this parable concerns money. It depicts investing as a godly thing to do if it accomplishes godly purposes in a godly manner. More pointedly for the workplace, it commends putting capital at risk in pursuit of earning a return. Sometimes Christians speak as if growth, productivity, and return on investment were unholy to God. But this parable overturns that notion. We should invest our skills and abilities, but also our wealth and the resources made available to us at work, all for the affairs of God’s kingdom.
Jesus, your word calls me to invest in your kingdom with my time, talent, and financial resources. Help me to follow your call. Amen.
About this Plan
Do you wonder if God has anything to say about your work? Explore key verses from each chapter of the Bible that offer wisdom, guidance, and purpose for everyday work. Part 10: Matthew-Acts
We would like to thank the Theology Of Work Project for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.theologyofwork.org/devotions
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 8
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 11
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 13
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 12
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 14
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 15
Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 5
The Other Five Prayer Journey