The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. He said, "A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten servants and gave them ten pounds of silver to invest for him while he was gone. But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say they did not want him to be their king. "When he returned, the king called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what they had done with the money and what their profits were. The first servant reported a tremendous gain -- ten times as much as the original amount! 'Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.' "The next servant also reported a good gain -- five times the original amount. 'Well done!' the king said. 'You can be governor over five cities.' "But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, 'I hid it and kept it safe. I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant.' "'You wicked servant!' the king roared. 'Hard, am I? If you knew so much about me and how tough I am, why didn't you deposit the money in the bank so I could at least get some interest on it?' Then turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, 'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who earned the most.' "'But, master,' they said, 'that servant has enough already!' "'Yes,' the king replied, 'but to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. And now about these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king -- bring them in and execute them right here in my presence.'" (Luke 19:11-27 NLT)
It’s likely that the year 2011 will go down in history as a year of protest and unrest around the world. Undoubtedly, the catalyst for the wave of civil disobedience was Arab Spring—an historic uprising which forced corrupt dictators and rulers from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the Arab world. Throughout the region, people took to the streets in protest over issues including political corruption, unemployment, poverty and human rights violations. And with the protests in full swing throughout the Middle East, the western world took note. Before long, a feisty band of rebels took to the streets of New York City to protest social and economic inequality in the US. The protests in New York became known as “Occupy Wall Street”. And as news of the unrest spread across the country, people took to the streets of urban meccas like Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Collectively, the protests became known as the “Occupy” movement which spread to faraway places like England, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Japan. Though the fiery clashes with police and media coverage of the tumult have subsided, a remnant of the “Occupy” movement remains active and committed to fighting for social and economic equality around the world.
Like the protestors, Jesus used a parable to encourage His followers to occupy—to take hold of or control the resources of—a coming king until his return. Several translations of the key text in the theme scripture are shown here.
- “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13 KJV) -So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.' (Luke 19:13 NIV) -Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ (Luke 19:13 ESV) -"And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.' (Luke 19:13 NASB) -He called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to them, 'Invest this money until I come back.' (Luke 19:13 ISV)
Though the phrases differ from one translation to the next, the prevailing message is the same: Handle the king’s business until he returns. That’s a word from the Lord to every Christian. Handle our Lord and Savior’s business until He returns. Sisters in Christ, that means whatever God has given you, use it to benefit His kingdom. Whatever spiritual gifts, talents, opportunities or resources He’s given you, use them to advance the Kingdom agenda. Where ever God has placed you, use your position to glorify Him and further the cause of Christ. In short, occupy until He comes.
Whatever you do, ladies, don’t make the mistake of the third servant who held on to his resources. His inactivity didn’t benefit the king in any way. He squandered the opportunity to do a good work for his master. As such, the king was very upset with the servant. Learn from his mistake. Handle the King’s business effectively and efficiently. Work when, where and while you can to ensure that when your day of reckoning arrives, you’ll receive a just reward. You’ll hear the Lord say, "'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'” (Matt. 25:23 NIV)
(c) 2012 Elle Bailey. All rights reserved.