In Luke 19, Jesus told a parable. In this parable a nobleman Is preparing to go on a journey to a far off land, his purpose for the journey was to receive the authority to become king. Before leaving, this nobleman leaves a portion of his belongings to ten of his servants and instructs them to “engage in business” until His return. Later, the nobleman returns, now with the authority and title of King. When he returns, he goes to the ten servants and requires an accounting for how they have carried out his business in his absence. Basically. He asks each of them to explain what they have done in his absence to carry on his affairs. The first servant took the one mina and earned ten more. The second servant who had one mina earned another five. Next a third servant came forward. These were his words accounting for the mina he’d been given, “Master, here is your mina. I have kept it hidden away in a cloth because I was afraid of you, for you’re a tough man: you collect what you didn’t deposit and reap what you didn’t sow.’ (Luke 19:20-21 HCSB)
Let’s look at the king’s response to his servants faithfulness or productivity.
- The first servant was rewarded for his faithfulness with what the nobleman had entrusted him with. He was put in charge of ten cities, one for each additional Mina he’d earned.
- The second was rewarded by being placed in charge of five cities, again a city for each additional mina.
- Lastly, the third servant, who had buried the mina given him rather than be obedient to his master and carry out business until the master returned gave his account and produced the original mina for the king. The king took what was given to this servant and gave it to the first servant.
As I pondered this for a while, my thoughts took me to another scenario found in my S.O.A.P. reading for today. It was the fourth chapter of Esther. At this point in Esther’s story, she is Queen. It’s been thirty days since her husband, the king, had summoned her. Her uncle sends word to her that an edict has been pronounced against her people, the Jewish people, and their destruction is near. Esther sent word that it is unlawful for her to go before the king without being summoned and this is her uncles reply, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13-14 HCSB) Why was Mordecai so convinced that liberation and deliverance would come when all seemed hopeless? Perhaps it was because he knew that God had promised and foretold through the prophets that the Messiah, the Savior would come through the Jewish people through the lineage of David. At any rate, he was very confident that salvation and deliverance would come whether Esther stepped up to the challenge or not; but perhaps, just maybe…this was the very reason she had been chosen to be queen…for such a time as this. Esther prayed, fasted, and finally with the declaration, “if I perish, I perish!”, she took up the challenge. Because of her bravery and obedience, the people were allowed fight to protect themselves.
Your probably asking what one has to do with the other. I’m sure I would be if I weren’t already in my head! So let me try to connect the dots of my thoughts by starting with this: “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. (Psalms 139:16 HCSB) Supposing this to be a true statement, because I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, then we can say that God had a plan and a destiny for David, the author of the Psalm. Suppose that can also be said for Esther’s life, the nobleman’ life, Jesus’ life and for our own very lives.
Esther left the safety of her chambers to step into her destiny. This nobleman left for his journey to fulfill his destiny to become king. Jesus left heaven and came to earth as a baby to fulfill God’s Redemptive plan for mankind. Each carried out a specific plan and enlisted the help of others. Esther enlisted the help of her maid servants and her people; the nobleman enlisted the help of ten servants to carry on his business; and Jesus recruited His disciples and a band of followers. Each gave instructions to their recruits….
- Esther- fast and pray for three days
- The nobleman-engage in business until I return; build my business
- Jesus- make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28)-build His Kingdom
In Esther’s case, we don’t know whether those praying were told the specifics of why or if they were just told to do it. With the nobleman, there is no indications that the servants were given a reason for their being given the Mina and being told to engage in business until his return. As Jesus commissioned His followers, no direct reason was given, yet in all three cases, the one in authority had specific reasons for their requirements of those they called.
- Esther- to hear from God
- The Nobleman-to find trust worthy leaders to place in positions of authority
- Jesus- to spread the gospel, bring freedom, healing, and deliverance, and to build His Kingdom
Will we always know the reasons behind what we are asked to do? No. Will there be times we question authority in our lives? Probably. How about times when we doubt someone’s motives, misjudge, and react with self-perseveration as the servant who lost what was given him? Quite possibly. Honestly, it makes me wonder at the things that I may have missed out on because of fear or mistrusting just because I did not have all the facts and information. Would that servant have responded differently if he’d have known the nobleman would be king and was looking for people to lead cities? Maybe the biggest question these events cause me to ask myself is do I have enough trust in God to walk this journey out whether I have all the questions answered? Will I keep following when fear threatens? When I have more questions than answers? Will I like the two wise servants, make my master proud of my faithfulness? Or will I be like the last and hide away that which He has given me, having nothing to show for it? Am I willing to do my best like Esther with the attitude, “if I perish, I perish”?