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Disobedient Unbelief

Luke 19:20-25 
‘Then another servant came and said, “Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.” ‘His master replied, “I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?” ‘Then he said to those standing by, “Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.” ‘“Sir,” they said, “he already has ten!” (NIVUK)

This passage comes in the middle of a parable (Luke 19:11-27). Jesus is telling a story about Himself - as a king who entrusted his servants with money to do business on his account, while he was away.  The king returned (as Jesus will one day) and called his servants to account.  

Two made an excellent profit but the man in today's reading had nothing to show.  He had neither invested nor traded.  His excuse was fear of the king, and fear of his own inability to meet what he saw as unrealistic expectations.  But really, his attitude was of indifference to the king's command and an unwillingness to obey him.  He so despised the instruction and the opportunity to be a part of building the kingdom that he did not even put the money on deposit at the bank.

Maybe he did not even believe that the king would return; or, if so, there would be no audit.  But there was!  The excuses made no difference; he was judged out of his own mouth (Romans 14:12) and he was stripped of the privilege that could have been his, of being a regional or city governor.  The root of his attitude was unbelief which was demonstrated in disobedience and expressed in lies.
When Jesus returns, He will find many like that.  They will all have a story to tell, but none will be able to withstand the judgement on them.  Covered in shame with their opportunity gone, they will not have any place of dignity in Christ's kingdom.  Looking around at many nice, successful, smooth-talking people, or hardworking caring family folk - it is sometimes difficult to imagine that their encounter with Jesus will be like that.  He will not measure bank balances, social status, charity work or anything else which makes us feel good about ourselves.  Jesus will evaluate our obedience to His gospel, our labours for His kingdom and glory, our faith despite trials, our endurance despite fear and our courage in representing our King in front of a wicked and rebellious world.  That is the life of faith, practised at work and at home which places the commands of King Jesus above all other authority.  So, as Colossians 3:17 says, "… whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Majestic Lord. Thank You for this reminder that Jesus will certainly return, and assess my life according to the priorities of His kingdom. Please forgive me when I see the agenda of this world and live as though Jesus has no authority over my life. Help me to demonstrate that I believe in Him, and in His promise to return, by living so that the extension of His Kingdom becomes my priority and seeking His glory is my aim in all things. May these goals be my motivation at work and in the home, with friends and at leisure. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams