Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ (Luke 19:13 ESV)
Since he was 12 years old, Jesus was aware that he should be about his Father’s business. Chapter 19 of Luke is typical of how Jesus went about it.
When he went to the home of Zacchaeus – not just a tax collector but a chief tax collector (remember, they’re a division of evil even worse than sinners!) he was engaging in the business. When he entered Jerusalem, he was engaging in the business. When he drove out those who were selling in the temple he was engaging in the business. Those who sought to kill him couldn’t touch him at that time because the people were hanging on his words, because he was engaging in the business.
As Jesus was embarking on his journey to Jerusalem he told an intriguing parable to those who were listening. They were of the impression that his journey to Jerusalem would be the inauguration of the new rule they had been eagerly anticipating. Jesus’ parable was to put that anticipation in a different light.
Rather than hailing his arrival as something that people should be eagerly anticipating, Jesus presents a picture of an owner reviled and despised and even after entrusting money to his servants discovers that not all his servants go about the business. There’s something he has in store for those who reject and revile him and he has something in store for those who have been entrusted with his money and have failed to be about the business.
The view of the master determined what his servants would do with what he entrusted to them. A wrong view of the master resulted in not going about his business because of fear. It’s the wrong perspective on the master that will lead them to misuse that which does not even belong to them. It’s the wrong look at the master that puts them in a position where their worse fears will be realised.
Meanwhile, those who are about the business discover that as you engage with what’s been given there’s a profit to be made. Not just a financial profit either. Investing in the business, being about the business and putting what’s been given to work will bring rewards in line with the investment.
That business is the same Kingdom business that Jesus invested his life in for the last three and half years of his life on earth. That business saw blind people have their sight recovered. That business saw those cut off from society reintegrated in the community. That business saw people hang onto his every word as it spoke life, peace, justice and righteousness.
The challenge remains as to whether those who claim to follow him are engaging in the business.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden