Scripture – Luke 19:14 – “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’…”
Observations – From this parable of the ten minas (Lk 19:11-27), ten servants were each given one mina, a sum of money, to steward while their master went to a far away land to be made king. Seems odd, but this man’s subjects hated him; they hated him so much, in fact, that they sent a delegation to try to persuade that far away council not to make him king over them. Their delegation was unsuccessful, however; he was made their king.
When he returned, the master called up his servants. The first earned a whopping one-thousand percent return on his master’s money, and so was given ten cities to manage. The second earned a five-hundred percent return and so was given five cities. A third servant returned his one mina to his master, having earned nothing, having not even put the money on deposit at a bank. Why? Because he’d become fearful of his master, convinced he was a hard man, ‘taking out what he didn’t put in and reaping what he did not sow.’ Where did this servant get these ideas about his master? I believe he became too close to the subjects of the kingdom, “the haters” who didn’t know the master and hated him (without a cause – Jn 15:25).
Application – As a servant of Christ, know my master, and not through other people. If I am to truly know him and serve him by faith, it will not be through surveys of people’s sordid opinions and objections about him in his “absence”. It is not my job to change others’ opinions of him, but to preach Jesus that they might be saved, whether they choose to trust him or not. Keep my eyes on Jesus, and steward all my opportunities, time, talent and treasures to please him, not people. For the fear of man is a snare.
Prayer – Lord, you know how strong, and what a snare my fear of man is! The Japanese have a maxim: “the customer is God” (“okyakusama wa kamisama desu”). My fear of man sometimes approaches such idolatry. But Jesus, you are God and Lord of my life. Help me tune out “the haters” and keep my focus on you; empower me to love and serve others as you’ve called me to. Amen.