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My father’s business

Sep 2, 2015, 11:18 AM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:10-12)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Jesus and his parents were returning home on foot, in a convoy, from a trip to Jerusalem where they had attended the annual Passover feast. After the first day’s journey, they realised Jesus was nowhere to be found. “... the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.” (Luke 2:43) So they had to retrace their steps.They finally set eyes on him after a three-day search. Where? They found him in the temple in the company of some temple teachers, “listening to them and asking them questions.”

These men marvelled at the kind of questions Jesus at age twelve posed, and the answers he gave. Even his parents were astonished when they found him there. His mother grieved: “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” (Luke 2:48) Jesus however observed: “Why are you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” In the King James’s version we read; “Didn’t you know I must be about my Father’s business?”(Luke 2:49) It was obvious that Jesus and his parents were not operating on the same wavelength as regards his life’s priorities. Jesus put his Father’s business first. That was nothing other than the matters of God’s kingdom. 

Few youngsters at age twelve would seek to know what their father’s business is all about, let alone endeavour to carry it out. Our Lord Jesus however ventured into this field early in his life and made a significant impact. In the company of eminent scholars he made his mark, showing he was versed in matters of God, as revealed in the Scriptures. It also portrays that he was no ordinary child. Early in life, the Father’s business had taken centre-stage in the life of the Son.

Whose business or affairs do you take care of, the Father’s or yours? Which do you consider a priority activity in your life? Our Lord Jesus puts it bluntly that we should consider the kingdom of God our priority, then all other things will fall in place. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

The parable of the ten minas (talents) further illustrates what our Lord Jesus was driving at. How diligent are we? What is the thrust of our activities in life? Any aspect other than that of God’s will, is likely to take us off course. A king about to undertake a journey to a distant land called three of his servants and gave them a special assignment; he entrusted them with varying sums of money to work with until his return. The account is recorded in Matthew 25. To the first one he gave five talents of money, to the second two talents and to the third one talent. This was what he told them: “Put this money to work until I come back.” (Luke 19:13)

On his return he called the servants to render account of their stewardship. The first and second servants had doubled the amounts given to them; the third one had thought it prudent not to use his at all; instead he buried it rather than invest it. He had nothing to show or tell the king other than to make excuses. The king interjected that he could have at least kept the money in the bank to yield interest. For their diligence, the first two servants were highly commended; “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, 23)

It was a different story for the third servant; the words that echoed in his ears sounded like this:  “You wicked, lazy servant! ... Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents....and throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (verse 26,28,30)

We ought also take up our Father’s business as youngsters not leave it all in the hands of the elders. We have a contribution to make no matter the educational level we have attained. When we offer ourselves willingly God will speak through us. Age must not disqualify us or be a hindrance to playing our rightful roles in the kingdom.

Our Lord Jesus once told his Jewish audience who persecuted him because he was doing miracles (considered as work) on the Sabbath: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” (John 5:17) What if we emulated the Father and the Son, by always working for the advancement of the kingdom?