The thoughts and reflections this week are from Stuart. The Bible can be read online here.
When Herod the Great died (AD 4) his son, Archelaus, went to Rome to petition the Emperor that he replace his father. Before going he put his estates in order and passed responsibilities to entrusted servants. However he wasn’t liked and a delegation went after him to petition Tiberius Caesar not to make him king. As a result Tiberius gave him the lower position of Ethnarch (similar to a Tribal Chief), which led Archelaus to wreak vengeance on his enemies when he returned (Tiberius deposed him 2 years later).
The people expected Jesus to become King, defeat the Romans and restore the kingdom (v11). Jesus’ response was “not now”, and he used this picture of Archelaus to explain what the future held.
I’m going away and those left will be split in to either servants or enemies.
For the enemies the message is straightforward; for now you live but you’ll face judgement and death on the King’s return (v27).
However, we were all enemies (Col 1:21) and objects of this same wrath (Eph 2:3), but God revealed his love to us so that we would become his friends (Eph 2:4-5)
Which takes us to the other group of people in this parable; the servants. Being a friend I live to serve and the fuel to my service is love (John Ch15)
9 ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love… 12 My command is this: love each other as I have loved you… 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends … 17 This is my command: love each other.
In today’s parable every servant received the same gift (1 minas). We’ve all received the same gift of love and the Holy Spirit. The challenge is for us to invest this gift in love for God and love for others, rather than burying it away and letting it go cold.
The story of God’s love and the salvation that will turn people from enemies to friends is found in the Bible. However, we sometimes say that we are the bible people read. As a servant friend I’m called to live a life of love so when the people read me they see the love of a transformed life (e.g. Matt 5:43-48) that will then challenge or encourage them to pick up the Bible and read of His perfect atoning love.
Lord thank you for loving me. Thank you for your love that has been shown to be through other Christians. Help me to invest the gift of love you have placed in my heart so that you can use it to reap profits for your kingdom