Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A missed opportunity...

The last servant mentioned in the Parable of the gold coin in Luke 19:11-27 only made one small mistake...and it had nothing to do with how he handled the money entrusted to him.

The action of the nobleman in giving 10 servants an equal amount of money to manage in his absence was a sort of on-the-job training and head-hunting exercise. These were probably all servants in his household or estates that showed some promise as leaders and administrators. So if he was successful in becoming the King, then he would be needing just such men to fill roles in his new government. Hence the test...and the reward of a governorship to the successful servants.

The last servant,however, showed that he just wasn't cut from the right cloth for leadership. He was too hesitant. Afraid of failure. But he also had a pretty dim view of his master. In fact, the servant sets himself up as judge and jury over the master...

‘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.’ (v.20-21)

It's in trying to justify his actions and judging his master that the servant makes one little mistake and misses the opportunity. If he had simply accepted the reality of errors and admitted to his fear, throwing himself on the mercy of the newly crown king, the servant would have been pardoned in full, for the new king was bound by custom to show mercy when first taking the throne.

In similar fashion we often miss out on the freedom of God's forgiveness for our sins because we are too busy trying to justify or rationalize our behaviour. Don't waste your time. God knows what you have done anyway. So confess...repent...and experience God's good grace...and then move on.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The fine line...

There is a fine line between seeking out the truth and simply trying to gather supporting arguments for your own personal dogma and traditions. Luke 20:27-40 gives a great picture of how Jesus responded when put in this position.

The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, were simply trying to prove their point by creating a logically ridiculous picture. Which of the brothers would be her rightful husband.

Jesus' response is simple and straightforward. Life after death is not like life prior to death. Life in the eternal realm is not like life in this temporal realm. More importantly, God is not like us and his existence cannot be defined in human terms and in human time.

The Teachers of the Law who are observing this exchange chip in... "A good answer".

But the thing is...the good answer is really no answer. I have some knowledge of this life as limited as it may be by my experience and intelligence and perceptions. I have no knowledge beyond that. In truth I have no knowledge about anything beyond this very moment. What the rest of today holds for me is as much a mystery as what it will be like to die. So we come back to some basic Biblical wisdom.

Make the most of the moment in which you are living right now. Leave the rest in God's hands.