Are We Taking Care of Business?

What are we working towards?
 
What is it that we as believers and churches are supposed to be working together to accomplish?
 
What is our goal?
 
What is the business in which we are to be engaged until Jesus returns?
 
We have written before about the connection between the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27) and the delivery of the Great Commission at the Ascension of Jesus (and the Second Coming of Jesus). You can read that article here.
 
In short, the Parable of the Minas is a foretelling by Jesus of His delivering the Great Commission at His Ascension; and a description of the rewards for having kept the Great Commission (and the consequence of not having kept it) that He bestows at the time of His Second Coming.
 
The verse that is the equivalent of the Great Commission within the Parable of the Minas is:
 
“He called ten of his servants, gave them ten minas, and told them, ‘Engage in business until I come back'” (Luke 19:13).
 
The servants that were called were Jesus’ disciples (which includes us), and the business in which they are to be engaged during His absence is to “make disciples of all nations.”
 
However, Jesus also gave very specific commands as to HOW we are to carry out the business of making disciples:
 
“… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
 
Thus, as demonstrated in the previous article on the Parable of the Minas, the minas themselves are the commands of Jesus which are to be multiplied via the multiplication of disciples who know and keep them.
 
Succinctly stated, the business in which we are to be engaged until Jesus returns; and the standard by which we will be rewarded when He returns; is that we are to make disciples of Jesus who first imitate Him by being baptized just as He was, and then continue to imitate Him by learning and keeping all the words, teachings, commands, and example that He gave during His earthly ministry.
 
Just as the servants were to specifically engage in business practices that resulted in the multiplication their master’s minas, disciples of Jesus are to specifically engage in “business practices” that multiply more disciples of Jesus who imitate Him by knowing and keeping His commands, teachings, et cetera.
 
 
And most importantly, it is only by being re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be, that men give the glory to God that they were created to give.
 
This then explains why God is so serious about us being and multiplying disciples of Jesus.
 
Where we have erred as churches is that we have either:
 
1. Decided that we do not really have to be and make disciples of Jesus, or…
 
2. That we can be and make disciples in a different way from that which Jesus commanded.
 
In doing so, we have demonstrated that we believe that we either know better than Jesus; and/or that we believe that obedience to Jesus is optional.
 
Often we attempt to super-spiritualize this in some way; but ultimately it is simple disregard and disobedience toward the King of kings and Lord of lords.
 
Imagine for a moment that you are the owner of a company that makes one specific product.
 
Imagine also that you have given specific instructions on how this specific product is to be made. This is because there is only one way this product can be made correctly.
 
Imagine that your company’s success depends on this one product begin made in this one specific way.
 
Now imagine that your employees decided that they either:
 
1. Did not want to make that specific product, or…
 
2. That they would rather attempt to make it a different way.
 
How would you feel about that?
 
How long would they be employed?
 
How do you think God feels about us doing the same thing?
 
This explains the master’s reaction in the Parable of the Minas to the servant who made excuses as to why he could not do what the master commanded him to do:
 
“I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? […] Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas. […] I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Luke 19:22-26).
 
In the similar Parable of the Talents, the master also commands, “Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 19:25-30).
 
Needless to say, Jesus is profoundly concerned that we multiply disciples and that we do so in the way that He commanded us to multiply disciples.
 
Because in all actuality, if we are not making disciples of Jesus by specifically “teaching them to obey all that He commanded,” as He commanded; then we are most likely not making disciples of Jesus (even if we call them disciples of Jesus).
 
We are most likely making disciples of something or someone else and employing the logical fallacy of semantics or equivocation in order to call them disciples of Jesus (and we are expressly forbidden by Jesus from using logical fallacies in Matthew 5:33-37).
 
One if the most frustrating things I deal with in my culture and context are the cultural Christians who will argue with their dying breath that they would do anything, and give up everything for Jesus.
 
But, when I clearly show them from the Bible that Jesus would have them abandon everything else in order to imitate Him as His disciple by knowing and keeping the words, teachings, commands, and example that He gave during His earthly ministry; and then to multiply more disciples of Him by teaching them to do the same; they quickly turn into the servant who buried his mina or talent and is now making excuses about how being and making disciples is too difficult and how Jesus asked too much.
 
They realize that truly imitating Jesus as His disciple will require too many changes in their personal life and the life of their church and therefore they bury imitating Jesus as His disciple under all the other “Christian” and “church” stuff that they do.
 
But Jesus specifically told the Parables of the Minas and the Talents to communicate that He will not be listening to excuses as to why we couldn’t carry out the buisness He left for us to do; no matter how churchy or Christian our excuses are.
 
If everything in our lives needs to change so that we can imitate Jesus as His disciple and teach others to do the same, then everything needs to change.
 
If everything about our church needs to change so that we can imitate Jesus as His disciple and teach others to do the same, then everything needs to change.
 
Because if not, then the BEST we can hope for is the second possibility of which Paul wrote:
 
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
 
Imagine everything that you ever did as a “Christian” or as a “church” being burned up right before you step into paradise. You made it in; but for all eternity you have no rewards to lay at the feet of Jesus.
 
Contrast that with the servants who multiplied what they were told to multiply, the way that they were told to multiply it:
 

“The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities'” (Luke 19:16-19).
 
Imagine being given authority and responsibility to rule with Jesus in paradise for all eternity!
 
So, what excuses are you using to bury imitating Jesus as His disciple in your personal life and the life of your church?
 
Are those excuses that will be burned up worth the rewards you will lose in paradise for all eternity?
 
If everything in your personal life and the life of your church needs to change in order that you might imitate Jesus as His disciple and teach others to do the same, what is holding you back?
 
If you don’t know where to begin, start here:
 
 

The Four Principles of Discipleship…

 

If you don’t have a church, or you know your church won’t make the changes that need to be made, please visit us at His Words His Ways Fellowship. Here is our location.
 
We would love for you to join with us in keeping the Great Commission of Jesus as it was commanded and teaching people to be re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be by learning to imitate Jesus as His disciple.