At one point or another, we are given the responsibility of managing something that belongs to someone else. This may be something as simple as babysitting or watching someone’s pet while they are out of town. Maybe we will be tasked with overseeing the finances of another or managing someone’s real estate. As followers of Jesus, we know that everything we do is done as a representative of God. Our audience is not just man, but the king that we serve. Today, we read about people who were given the task of overseeing something that belonged to someone else.
- How do you represent Jesus in the way that you manage the resources he has given you (time, treasures, and talent)?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 19:11-27 (ESV)
11 As they heard these things, he 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, he gave them ten minas, 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! 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.’”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Who does the nobleman represent in this parable? When the nobleman returned, he had a new identity. Who was he upon his return (vs. 15)?
- The nobleman gave each of the servants an equal gift (vs. 13). Any idea what the mina might represent?
- Based upon the interaction in verses 15-19, what do you observe about the first two servants’ views of the master? What can you observe about the third servant’s view of the master?
- What do you observe about your view of God based upon how you manage or oversee that which he has provided to you?
- As you consider what Jesus has done for you and how he has gifted you, are you responding to him out of obedience or fear?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus used a parable to illustrate that obedience is a response to the receipt of a free gift. Each of the servants received the same gift, but their management of that gift differed. Those who invested the gift out of obedience were able to celebrate a return. The servant who was disobedient out of fear simply put the gift away. The master challenged the third servant by stating that even if he was unaware of how to invest, he could have taken it to the bank and generated a return. Instead, the third servant wasted the gift.
- Pray that in the everyday things of life you would represent Jesus well with how you manage what he has given you.