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Jesus The Banker and the Parable of Talents

The velocity of money and compounding are commonly understood principles. They even go all the way back to biblical times. Jewish traditions on money are very solid and they’ve been around for thousands of years. Have you heard the story in the Bible called the parable of the talents? The parable goes like this. Some followers come to Jesus and they say, “Jesus, when are you coming back?” He says, “I don’t know. No man knows and the son of man doesn’t know. I don’t know when I’m coming back, but let me tell you a story. A parable.”
 
He says, “There was a land owner who left for a long journey. Before leaving, he gave one talent to one servant, three talents to another servant and five to the last. Upon his return, he expected to get his gains from that. He went to the first servant and the first servant returned to him the one talent he’d been given.” The master said, “What’s the deal?” He said, “Well, I knew you were a hard master. You reap where you do not sow so I just buried it in a hole in the ground so I could return your capital to you.” The master says to him, “You wicked and slothful servant. The least you could have done with my money is give it to a banker and gotten me interest.”
 
This is Jesus of Nazareth using an example that today’s society doesn’t much understand anymore. But to the Jewish people of that time, they fully understood interest and about the motion of money. It’s important to understand what those words meant as well. Slothful is pretty easy to get. Lazy. You didn’t take any risk. You didn’t put any work in. You dug a hole, buried it. That’s easy to get. But the word wicked, unfortunately, gets lost. Many times it’s translated sin. We think of that as some sort of moral issue. The literal translation at that time was wickedness meaning you breaker of the rules.
 
What rules did he break? Were they moral religious rules? No, he broke the rules of how money works. “You could have at least given it to a banker and gotten me interest.” The point to the Jewish people was they understood that principle was so solid. When you’re making a spiritual truth known and you use an example, the financial example you’re using has to be true in order for the spiritual truth to be true. The financial truth has to be true in order for the spiritual truth to be true. You can’t teach a spiritual truth from an untrue financial truth. It also has to be something that they commonly know. So, the Jewish people of that time understood these principles.
 
So, the second servant had three and he returned him three and the last one had five and returned him five. They had put the money to work and repeatedly made more money with it until they’d each doubled the money. The next part of the story goes this way. When seeing this, the master took the money from the servant that only had one and gave it to the one who had five. Now, I’ve heard this from pulpits and other places, that the first guy was being punished for his laziness and his wickedness.
 
That’s not at all what was happening. Essentially, he certainly did lose some favor. That wasn’t the case though. What was happening is the master was a wise man. He took the money from the guy who got him zero returns and gave it to the guy who gave him the maximum returns. It’s good business. It’s just wisdom when it comes to money is what was happening there. We hear these stories so often and just don’t get the true meaning. So, even we have documents written thousands of years ago that are teaching the same thing that we’re trying to bring back to you today about the motion of money.
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