Revisiting the Parable of the Talents

For us to prosper we have to understand that investing is a good and godly thing. A lot of Christians think that the parable of the talents is about spiritual gifts. We are confused by the term “talent” which, as it is used in Matthew 25, is actually an amount of money. Jesus was talking about faithfulness within the context of our finances. Just so their is not any confusion on this in verse 27, it states,”Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.” He is talking about investing money.

In Dr. Anderson’s book, Becoming a Millionaire God’s Way, he tells the historical economic story behind the parable of the talents. It really was about money and investing.

The details are not given in the gospels, but from history we do know some of the investment options available to them. In the early Roman Empire, the government raised money by selling contract bonds or taxation bonds. In other words, you could invest money in the government and earn dividends on your stock. This was happening before Jesus was born and continued long afterwards. The servants in the parable took money and invested it in what could be considered the world’s system. The opportunities were available to anyone with the initiative and the awareness to notice them and take advantage of them.

It helps us to see that Jesus was referencing the financial markets of the day which in principle are not that much different than the markets we have today. The stewards who was faithfully invested the money were rewarded and the one who didn’t was punished. God is OK with you making prudent investments and realizing the reward of them.

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