Most people are concerned that they have something for their retirement years. It is only prudent that we set resources aside for our latter years. Solomon described life in stages of the sowing years, harvesting years, and storing years (Prov 6:8). If we follow his advice, there will be something available to us that we have produced from an earlier time of our life. However, this is all about our earthly portfolio. What about our eternal portfolio? Jesus told a parable in Luke 19 that addresses our eternal investments. He told this parable because it is clear that the people were expecting him to set up his kingdom immediately. They believed his kingdom on earth was about to begin. Why wouldn’t they? He did miracles, and he called himself “The Son of Man.”
In the parable the king is going away to receive the title of king, but before he goes he delegates responsibilities to his servants. He gives them each a mina, which is about three months’ salary. With the money he told them to “Put this money to work, until I come back” (Luke 19:13). The story represents the deposit of the Gospel that Christ has put in our lives.
When the king returned, he called the servants and asked for an accounting of the money. The first servant responded with “Sir, your mina has earned ten more.” The second was the same with five more. Both servants were incredibly rewarded by the king for their faithfulness (Luke 19: 16-19).
The third servant appeared before the king with nothing but the original investment given by the king. He had buried it. The king called him a wicked servant, and he took the mina away and gave it to the first servant. Then he said, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away” (Luke 19:26).
The parable has a central message and that is that Jesus our King has given us the glorious Gospel and he expects us to invest it in the lives of others. When he returns he will ask each us for an accounting. Paul describes this moment as the Judgment of Believers: “If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor 3:15).
Faithfulness means that a believer keeps doing what they are supposed to do. That they keep their promises and constantly support those around them. That they share the gospel that has been entrusted to them with others. Jesus made it clear in this parable that faithfulness will be richly rewarded, but unfaithfulness will be judged.