Today’s Gospel: Luke 19: 11-28
There is a proposition sometimes put forth by religious skeptics that the Gospels are just stories concocted by the early church, that Jesus is essentially a fictional character. All those parables? The miracles? Just a propaganda for a fledgling church.
Today’s Gospel gives riddance to that sort of nonsense. If you were trying to sell someone on converting to Christianity , who would make this up? In this reading, Luke conveys Jesus’ telling of the parable of a man who would be king of a people who despised him. The man, before leaving to obtain his kingship, entrusts ten servants with ten coins.
Upon the man’s return, he rewards those servants who invested their coin wisely. He gives them the coins plus the interest they earned and dominion over the cities of his kingdom. One servant hid his coin in a safe place and returned it to him. The new king chastised the servant, took away the coin and gave it to the servant who had earned ten.
That seems harsh. Even more harsh is the king’s response when his judgement is questioned.
“I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away,” he says.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, he reminds us that he has not forgotten those who did not want him to be king. The parable closes when he says, “Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.”
Like many of Jesus’ parables and sayings this is difficult to listen to and difficult to understand. And certainly not the kind of thing you would make up to attract converts.
Are we good or wicked servants when it comes to all that God has given us?
Father, help us to be good stewards of your may graces. To return to you tenfold all you have given us.
Copyright 2014 Kirk Whitney