While it is true that our time on Earth is limited, how we spend our life here impacts our eternal destiny.

The parable Jesus told in Luke 19:11-27 answers a very important question: How should those of us living between Christ’s resurrection and His return live our lives? Our response to that question determines our future rewards and relationship with God.

Just as the nobleman entrusted his servants with the minas while he was away (Luke 19:13), Jesus Christ has entrusted to each of us a certain amount of money — as well as time, opportunities, and gifts — to use to expand His kingdom while He is temporarily away. These servants were not under any illusion that the minas belonged to them, they were to simply do something pragmatic with them to multiply their master’s interest.

Although this parable was told against the backdrop of a culture very different from ours, there are two eternal principles that are just as applicable to those of us in the twenty-first century as those who lived in the first century.

1. Christians should adopt a CEO vs. consumer mentality.

To say that we live in a consumer-driven society is trite, but true. One study says that the average American spends six hours a week shopping while spending only 40 minutes a week with his or her children. Psychologists have developed a term to describe this addiction to obtaining money so that we can spend money: affluenza. Affluenza is defined as “extreme materialism and consumerism associated with the pursuit of wealth and success and resulting in a life of chronic dissatisfaction, debt, overwork, stress, and impaired relationships.”

But in this parable, Jesus suggests that we should adopt a different mindset as we await His return. Imagine that you are hired to be the CEO of a small company. The company’s owner gives you great latitude in running this company but tells you at the end of the year you will be rewarded according to the bottom line results—how much profit you have earned for him.

Throughout the year, you have the opportunity to spend the company’s money on newer furniture for the office, an updated computer system, or even a nicer company car for you to drive. But then you ask yourself, are these expenditures really going to boost the bottom-line and therefore increase my bonus? Thinking like a CEO instead of a consumer will pay great dividends at the end of the year.

God has entrusted to each of us certain resources. We have great latitude in how to expend those resources. But one day, when Christ returns, we are going to be evaluated by whether we used those resources to expand the kingdom of God or our own interests.  

2. Our commitment to the cause of Christ reflects our commitment to Christ.

Most commentators on this passage say there are three groups of people in this parable: the faithful servants who multiplied the mina (Luke 19:16-19), the faithless servant who hid the mina (Luke 19:20-26), and the foes of the nobleman who rebelled (Luke 19:27). 

The faithful servants were rewarded. The foes of the nobleman were executed.

But what was the fate of the faithless servant who refused to multiply the mina for his master? Did he simply fail to receive a reward? It’s worse than that. Jesus called him a “worthless slave.” Jesus had a consequence for the worthless slave in Matthew 25:30: “And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

So really, in Jesus’ parable there are not three categories of people but only two: the faithful and the faithless. The faithful demonstrate their relationship to their master by doing his business while he is a way. The faithless are either unbelievers who outwardly rebel against the master like the nobleman’s enemies in this parable, or the faithless are those who simply ignore their master’s commands even though they appear to be his servant.

The major reason Jesus spoke so often about money is that money is the best barometer of our true priorities in life. It is also a test of our faithfulness to God. This parable truly demonstrates that how we handle our money—as well as all of the opportunities God has entrusted to us—determines both our future rewards and our future relationship with God.

Join us every week for worship and a bold, biblical message by Dr. Jeffress at First Dallas or via the iCampus
Adapted from “Why Money Matters” by Dr. Robert Jeffress

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