Day 236 – A Good Response
On: June 24, 2015   |   By: SWLadmin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

“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?’ Luke 19:20-23

Recalling, from yesterday, that Jesus’s parable is about stewardship, this third servant clearly took no responsibility for all that he had been given. (Represented by the equivalent of three months’ wages, don’t forget, so not loose change) He stuck his cash under the pillow and got on with what he wanted to do with his life. He took the view that, with the master out of sight, he was out of the picture and, consequently, could be ignored.

Many take a similar view today, living life with no reference to God. Which is a choice we are given, courtesy of the free will with which we are all hard wired. What draws my eye in the response of the servant, is the aggressive way he responds to the master. Not: “Oops, sorry, I thought it didn’t matter what I did with the money you gave me. At least I didn’t lose it!” Rather: “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.” He tries to bluster his way out of his responsibility.

This is a common reaction to God. At the time of writing, I am trying to help support a close friend, who is seriously unwell. It’s sets me thinking about how people can react, when they get bad news, particularly if someone dies. Those who will have nothing to do with God one day, are suddenly railing against Him the next: “How can I believe in a God who allows suffering?” Their own prejudice is simply compounded by a situation over which they have no control. Surely, rather than disproving God, it actually brings into focus their need of Him.

All of which takes us back to the story of Zacchaeus (Day 233), off the back of which Jesus told this parable. Zacchaeus had not been exercising good stewardship of his gifts. In fact he was abusing the position, chief tax collector, he found himself in. But, when confronted with Jesus, the master in the parable, he didn’t get all defensive and try to pass the blame for what he’d done. He responded to Jesus’s initiative, recognised the error of his ways and came good. How quickly or completely he was accepted by those he had cheated, we are not told. But salvation came to him and his house that very day. His was a good response.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, there are no hopeless cases in your economy. Open my eyes to see the Zacchaeuses that may be mixing with the crowds around me each day. Grant me boldness to step into their lives with Your saving grace. Amen.

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