To Whom Much Is Given
"For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48
In Luke 12:36-48, Jesus tells a parable of servants who are waiting for their master's return. Many lessons have been drawn from this parable: a believer's anticipation of Christ's return; a spiritual leader's treatment of his flock; a person's responsibility to properly manage finances. While all of these are quite valid, I think there is something so simple in our Messiah's words that it is easily overlooked.
Most often when referencing Luke 12:48 it is taught that to whom much financial resources are given, much financial commitment will be required. We are then left to believe that only those who have great financial success are being blessed by God. But God never said that material wealth in this life would be His measure of our spiritual journey. Yes, He will provide for our every need, but we must not limit Him to the financial realm. We have been deceived into adopting the worldly standard of success as God's.
We must be on guard against tailoring the Gospel to the world. We are to seek first of all God's kingdom and God's righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Our focal point should be Jesus.
A disciple of Christ is a member of Christ's body, of which He is the head. And we are emissaries of His kingdom here on earth. Those of us who have been blessed by being born in the United States must be diligent not to succumb to the offerings of this society. While financial success is the world's yardstick, it must not become ours. As we seek God's kingdom, should we not look to the full body of Christ?
Of the worldwide Christian population, those of us living in the western hemisphere are by far the minority. Approximately three-fourths of the world's Christians live in third world countries under great political oppression. Many face severe persecution, torture and death simply for being a disciple of Christ.
In light of the pain and suffering of our brethren, are we being good stewards of the blessings that have been showered upon us?
For some the answer to this question may indeed include financial blessings. But what of the liberty we have to stand up for those who are being persecuted for Christ's sake? Shall we answer the cry of our martyred brethren by speaking the truth while we still have that right? Or will we follow the desires of our hearts in hopes they are also the desires of our Lord? Shall we lay down our lives that we may find life in Christ, or cling to our lives and find nothing but death (Matthew 10:38-39)?
Our life is to be found in Jesus Christ. But can a bleeding body stand? Hear the cry of your Lord's body -- your brethren -- and answer the call.