Peanut Butter and Jelly. Mustard and Ketchup. Chips and Dip. Tom and Jerry. Ken and Barbie. Horse and Buggy. Adam and Eve. Salt and Pepper. Mac and Cheese. Popcorn and Movies. Cookies and Milk (lots of food items here, I must be hungry!) Look at all the things that come in twos! There’s an old song that goes like this: “Love and Marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage, if you dare to bother, you can’t have one without the other.” There are just some things that go together. Separate, they are okay, but put them together, and POW! BAM! WOW! the combo is amazing!
As Jesus continues to describe what the day of His returning will be like, Jesus tells His disciples two more parables: the ten virgins, and the talents.
The Ten Virgins:
When a groom took a bride, the Jewish custom was for the groom to leave and go build a house, with his father’s help, for he and his bride. When he completed the house, he would come and have 10 virgins light a beautiful processional to go get his bride. The bride had no idea when the day would come. She just made herself ready for whenever the day came. Sounds a lot like the return of Jesus, huh?
According to Jesus’ parable, 5 virgins were ready and 5 were not. The 5 who were not ready were those who ran out of oil. In the Bible, oil is always a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oil is what keeps a fire going physically, and the Holy Spirit keeps the fire going in our hearts, spiritually. The goal is to NEVER RUN OUT OF OIL. Never try to live your life apart from the help of the Holy Spirit.
This reminds me of the story in 2 Kings 4, where Elisha wants to help a widow take care of her children, because she has no money. So Elisha asks what she has, and her reply was, “nothing but a little oil“. Sometimes we feel the same way. We feel as though we have nothing to offer, nothing left to give, and yet, we do know that the Holy Spirit is in us and with us, as little as you may be able to sense Him. Elisha tells her to gather every jar she can find and start pouring the oil into the jars. Scriptures says that she kept pouring and the oil continued to increase and flow until there were no jars left. Then, the oil stopped flowing. Friends, as long as there is breath in our body, this jar of clay you live in, called a body, is to be filled with the Spirit. And as long as there is an empty vessel to be filled, the Lord will fill it.
What if we poured out so much each day that we came back empty for more filling? What if we have stopped “pouring out” and therefore the “flow” has stopped? When Jesus returns, He wants us found pouring out in abundance by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A man gave his three servants some talents. One gets 5 talents, and he doubles it for his master. One gets 2 talents, and he also doubles it for his master. One gets 1 talent and because of fear, he hides the talent and does nothing with it. The master is thrilled with the two who wisely invest their talents and says, “Well, done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” The master is not happy with the one who hid his talent and actually called him lazy and wicked! Jesus said, “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
It is obvious from this teaching that Jesus wants us to be found using the gifts and abilities He has given us to their fullest potential. He wants them wisely invested in others so that there is a double return on the investing.
Here’s what I want us to consider today: Jesus put these parables back to back. Perhaps, He was revealing a beautiful principle of “twos“: that just as peanut butter and jelly go together, our talents and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit anointing those talents must go together in order for BIG things to happen. POW! BAM! WOW! The combo is amazing! And this is how He wants to find all of His children, when He returns.
KINGDOM LIVING COMBINES TALENT WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO MAKE INCREDIBLE IMPACT
KINGDOM LIVING CONSISTENTLY POURS OUT UNTIL JESUS RETURNS
What an incredible moment it will be, when Jesus returns, and says to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
May we be found ready, pouring out, when our Savior returns.