As I’ve been studying the Scriptures lately, God has been shedding light on things to me that were previously in darkness. I never understood certain stories and because of my lack of understanding, I questioned God’s character and would even find myself angry at God because He appeared so strict, mean, and even ruthless at times. I’m sure many of us have felt the same way as we’ve made our way through the Scriptures and questioned things like God wanting whole groups of people annihilated, including children. When we are in darkness, we cannot understand why God would do such things, but as God begins to shed light into these areas, it becomes increasingly clear and we can see God for who He really is and not what it would appear on the surface. I’m so thankful for the light that He’s been shining on His Word for me and I pray that He also shines light for you.
Today, we’ll talk about a parable that Jesus told in Luke. Paraphrased, a wealthy person was going away on an extended trip where he was going to receive another kingdom. Before he left, he decided to give some of his money to a few of his servants. He asked them to continue to do business with the funds even when he was gone, hoping for a return on his investment. As soon as he left, the rest of the citizens in town expressed how much they hated this man and how they didn’t want him as their ruler, and thus didn’t want him to return. It seemed like a long time before he came back, but when he finally did come back, he bypassed the hateful citizens and went right to his own servants and asked them to see if they earned any interest on his funds. Two of the servants invested the funds and earned more in the time he was gone. The wealthy person was so happy with them that he removed them as servants and put them in charge of their own areas in the equivalent amount that they had earned. But, one servant put the money in a drawer and did not invest it. Why didn’t he? He told the wealthy person that he was afraid of him and that he didn’t think he was being fair by making him do work for him. Basically, he said, “There was nothing in it for me and I refuse to do work for you so you can benefit and I get nothing, and everyone says your mean.” So, the wealthy person took his money back and gave it to the other servant who earned the most. And then, he told the wicked servant that he was an enemy who didn’t trust his leadership and so he deserved death.
“11 As they heard these things, [Jesus] proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,[a] he gave them ten minas,[b] and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant![c] Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”” Luke 19:11-27
Why was the wicked servant so bad that he deserved death when he didn’t steal the money, but even gave it back to him as was handed to him? It wasn’t so much that he didn’t do anything with the money (thought it was part of it), but it was that he did not know the wealthy person at all and believed instead what the citizens said about him. He misinterpreted the wealthy man’s character by calling him severe and telling him he was just using people for his own benefit. This wicked servant did not have a relationship with his master and so he did not know him and made up lies about him. He did not deserve to be in the wealthy person’s kingdom because of the lies that he believed.
God is a loving father who’s desire is to shepherd over us, helping us to do right, and His desire for us is to submit to His leadership and do as He says, but by doing so, He also promises us a reward. He is a fair and just leader and cares for each of his servants. God has chosen to entrust us with some of His work, which is to love Him and others, to obey the commandments, and to share His Word with others. If we willingly do this, we understand God and are in relationship with Him, not questioning His motives, but instead following His loving instructions. We are happy to be His servants and in the end, we will also benefit by being in His care.
Father God, Thank you that you have a desire to be in a loving relationship with us, carefully guiding us in how we should live and what we should do. Help us to see you clearly for who you are and not to listen to those who do not have a personal relationship with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.