What Is a Steward? (Y1.T2.D33)
Updated: Mar 22
The word steward has become a bit outdated, so let's look at how Merriam Webster defines it:
1: one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns (such as the supervision of servants, collection of rents, and keeping of accounts)
2: SHOP STEWARD
3: a fiscal agent
4a: an employee on a ship, airplane, bus, or train who manages the provisioning of food and attends passengers
b: one appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of food and drink in an institution
5: one who actively directs affairs : MANAGER
In Christian lingo, stewardship is often connected to finances because of the parable that Jesus shares in our passages today. However, what if the Lord is using money as a metaphor for something else? When he spoke in parables, he used everyday items people understood to explain larger mysteries.
Birth as a metaphor for new life (John 3:5)
Sheep as a metaphor for followers (Matthew 9:36)
Seed as a metaphor for God's word (Luke 8:11)
So what if in this passage, Jesus uses coins as a metaphor for valuable knowledge, unimaginable peace, or unexpected direction (God's mysteries). First Corinthians 4:1 states: "So let a man think of us as Christ’s servants, and stewards of God’s mysteries."
If that is the case, I have to ask myself: Do I seek God's mysteries as diligently as I do income? When I'm gifted with such insight, do I multiply it or wrap it in a handkerchief and tuck it away like a personal secret? Or bury it in a hole?
Even as I write this, I'm asking God to reveal to me what I don't understand. If only you knew the times I began a blog with one idea only to have the Holy Spirit provide a new idea or change direction. During these moments, I can't help but drop to my knees, humbled before the King who owns it all. His resources extend beyond money and I want to steward them all well.
Open My Eyes to All You've Entrusted to Me
1 So let a man think of us as Christ’s servants, and stewards of God’s mysteries. 2 Here, moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by man’s judgment. Yes, I don’t judge my own self. 4 For I know nothing against myself. Yet I am not justified by this, but he who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each man will get his praise from God. (1 Corinthians 4:1–5)
14b who called his own servants and entrusted his goods to them. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his own ability. (Matthew 25:14b–15a)
13 He called ten servants of his and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’
15b Then he went on his journey. 16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two. 18 But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the earth and hid his lord’s money. (Matthew 25:15b–18)
16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.’
17 “He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.’
19 “So he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief, 21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn’t lay down, and reap that which you didn’t sow.’
22 “He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn’t lay down, and reaping that which I didn’t sow. 23 Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?’ 24 He said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to him who has the ten minas.’
25 “They said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.’”
20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents in addition to them.’
21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
22 “He also who got the two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents in addition to them.’
23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “He also who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow, and gathering where you didn’t scatter. 25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. 27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. 28 Take away therefore the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away. 30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:20–30)
You have blessed me with so much. Help me better manage all that You have entrusted to me. Since I have received spiritual gifts, I want to use them to help others as a good steward of Your manifold grace (1 Peter 4:10). As a manager of Your mysteries, I must be blameless, not self-pleasing, not easily angered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain (Titus 1:7). When You come again, I want to hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25:21).
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