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Authority and Investment

Luke 19:11-14 
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. “Put this money to work,” he said, “until I come back.” ‘But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, “We don’t want this man to be our king.” (NIVUK)

Jesus was still at Zacchaeus' house (Luke 19:1-10) when He told this parable about a noble man travelling to a distant colony to establish it as part of his kingdom.  Taking ten servants, he commissioned them to run his business for him, giving them enough capital to trade on his behalf so he would have a profit; increased assets to greet his return.

The people of that country however did not want a foreign power to rule over them and sent a group to tell him that they refused to accept his authority.  It was only a story, but Jesus was showing a picture of Himself - the Son of God who had come from heaven to reclaim the people of earth as citizens of His kingdom.  However, the ruling classes were threatened by Jesus and wanted to get rid of Him (Matthew 27:18), even though He was much loved by those who trusted in Him and received His help.
It is the same today.  Jesus is the Lord over all the earth and yet so many resist His authority.  He has given so much to the world (food, mineral resources, building materials, oil and gas, as well as many beautiful things - precious stones, beautiful landscapes, flowers and animals, with sunrises, rainbows and sunsets) as physical and emotional capital to be wisely used. His greatest investment was His own life.  But alas, it is still true that many people hate Him and even organise politically against Him claiming that He has no right to be their King.  As John 1:10-11 says, "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him."  Also, those people who do trust Him are often treated in the same way (John 15:20-21).
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Jesus is the King.  This world, and everything in it, is under His rightful authority (Matthew 28:18) and is totally indebted to Him for all the resources (Psalm 89:11).  We should not be surprised if those who resist His rule also squander the gifts of His creation; or that persecution is common place for those who love and trust Him.  The great news is that He is coming back.  On that day, justice will be done and righteousness will be seen.  This is the hope of the Body of Christ - there is no other hope for this failing world.  It is such good news (gospel) that if we know it, we should share it!

Almighty God. Thank You for giving so much to us: a beautiful world, amazing resources and people to be our family and friends. I am sorry when I have not appreciated that You have given it all or appreciated my responsibility to use it wisely and for Your glory. Please help me to value the investment You have made in me and gifts You have given to me - not just for my sake, but so that Jesus will be glorified as His investments mature. Help me to work today with a clear understanding that all I do should be under Your authority. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams