Josprel's Articles of Faith - Do Business Till My Return
Writer Author Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
- Fiction No
According to at least one of the parables of the Lord Jesus Christ, God, the Father apparently functions as a stern master who expects a generous return on His investments. In the Gospel recorded by the physician, Luke traveling companion to the Apostle Paul chapter nineteen records a parable known to theologians by various titles: "The Parable of the Talents," "The Unwise Servant," "The Unprofitable Servant," "The Hidden Talent," among others. Verse thirteen ends with a direct command issued by a nobleman to his servants.
Soon departing on a long journey during which he was to receive a kingdom, he entrusted to the discretion of his servants the investment of various amounts of his wealth. When we understand that the Lord Jesus was portraying himself by the departing nobleman and depicting his followers as the servants, the parable requires only minimal commentary.
Entrusting each of his servants with one "mina" (a gold coin worth approximately twenty dollars in our time, but in biblical times an amount somewhat equal to the wages for one hundred days of labor) the nobleman charged them, "Do business till my return” (literal translation). True to their commissions, nine servants invested the money wisely, gaining a good return. The tenth though he understood his master's command chose to hide the amount entrusted to him.
Upon his return, the nobleman discovered that this servant not only neglected to invest the mina for fear of loosing it, he failed to place it at interest in even the safest, most conservative type of institution; he made not the slightest endeavor to fulfill his commission. He did absolutely nothing, and then refused to take responsibility for his neglect. When called to account by the nobleman, who now was a king, the servant actually implied that the fault lay with his master.
"Master, here is your mina, which I have kept, put away in a handkerchief," he whimpered, "for I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect where you did not deposit, and reap where you did not sow."
His outraged master replied, "I will judge you and condemn you out of your own mouth you wicked servant! You knew that I was a stern man, picking up what I did not put down, and gathering where I did not plant! Then why did you not put my money in a bank, so that on my return I might have collected it with interest?" (Verses 22 23: literal translation). The master then charged those who stood by to take he mina from the neglectful servant and give it to the one who had ten minas.
The essential truth in this parable is that no-gain, maintenance only spirituality ultimately will encounter the Lord's disapproval. It is a spirituality that attempts to satisfy Him with less than even the minimum of effort. If the unproductive servant really believed what he claimed to believe regarding his master, he would have endeavored all the more to please him.
What he actually did was rationalize his own laziness, lack of initiative and diligence. While his fellow servants were keeping faith with their master, this servant used the master's absence as an opportunity for slothfulness; he was lazy. Though he did not confide it to them, the king actually had placed his servants in a test situation. While still a nobleman, it appears he understood his kingdom would require faithful administrators; therefore, during his absence, he tested their various capabilities, dispositions and trustworthiness. After receiving his kingdom, he appointed those who were faithful during his absence to high-ranking administrative responsibilities, as he had intended to do all along. The king tested them in lesser responsibilities, before promoting them to greater ones.
The unprofitable servant received nothing, but his master’s judgment.
The Lord in His infinite wisdom promotes only the obedient and the faithful for His work. We must listen patiently for Him and give heed to the Spirit’s prompting for His coming will not be secret. The Second Coming of Christ shall catch up the Church so unexpectedly, that there will be no time for those who are unprepared to ready themselves for it. “As the lightening flashes across the sky and lights it up from one side to the other, so will the son of man be in that day . . . On that day the man who is on the roof of his house must not go down into the house to get his belongings; in the same way, the man who is out in the field must not go back to the house . . .” (Luke 17:31; Today’s English Version).
The houses in Christ’s day had flat roofs that were used much as we use a veranda or a porch. So instantaneous will Christ’s Second Coming be that there will be no time to go from the rooftop to the inside of the house. It would be similar to our saying; the Second Coming is so instantaneous that there will be no time to run the short distance from upstairs to downstairs.
The whole intent of these examples is to show that – at the Second Coming of Christ – if someone is not prepared, there will be no time left to prepare. The time for preparation (that which we call the "Age of Grace") will have ended.
The Second Coming of Christ will occur during a business as usual time for the world. "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26 28; 34 36; Today’s English Version).
Unbelievers shall not expect the Coming of Christ and His kingdom; however the world shall know that He came. “The Kingdom of God does not come with [outward show - literal translation]. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, over there!’ But don’t go out looking for it. As lightening flashes across the sky and lights it from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day” (Luke 17:20 24; Today’s English Version).
As lightning is openly visible for all to see, so shall Christ’s Second Coming be. The world will know that He came (Luke 17:24). “For the day of the Son of Man will be as lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other” (Luke 17:28 31; Today’s English Version).
The Day of the Son of Man shall be at a time when people are enjoying their social events as usual. “As it was in the days of Noah. So shall it be in the days of the Son of man. Everybody was eating and drinking, and men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat and the flood came . . .” (Luke 17:26-27; Today’s English Version).
The Day of the Son of Man shall be at a time when humanity is conducting “business as usual.” It shall be same as “ . . . it was in the time of Lot. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28; Today’s English Version).
So be prepared and productive!
© Josprel (Joseph Perrello)
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