The Haves and the Have Nots

(Matthew 25:29 NIV) “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

Recently, I was invited to sit on a panel of “experts” to dialogue on the topic of servant leadership. As I contemplated briefly what I might contribute to the discussion, the above verse came to mind.

I believe that leadership, even servant leadership, must be understood in the context of Christ’s absolute sovereign leadership over His people: “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 28:10,11 NASB). Therefore, we, as followers of Christ, in specific leadership roles or not, are really just stewards of Christ’s gifts.

God has poured Himself out upon us. He has given us His salvation, His mercy, His forgiveness, His compassion, His power, His authority, and, yes, even His glory. Why? So, we can be blessed? It’s not that simple. The blessings of God are given really so we can bless others (Genesis 12:2).

You see, the world is filled with either haves or have-nots. As we have been given such a great salvation, as we have been blessed with such abundance, we realize that God has blessed us to bless others: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b NIV). We are to pass it along. Everyone who has is to share with those who have not.

The wicked servant in the story above has what he was given taken from him because he didn’t practice God’s Kingdom economics & justice. He was not a servant leader. Servant leaders give it all away, because they know there’s plenty more where it came from in the first place. The evil steward knew that truth but didn’t act upon it: “Master I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed” (Matthew 25:24 NIV).

The local church has at its core a mission to reach its community with the love of Jesus Christ. One main way the church accomplishes this is by serving the needs of the have-nots in its community. In Acts 6, we see described in practice the servant leader principle that Jesus described in parable. The Grecian Jews (the have-nots) were being denied the same treatment as the Hebraic Jews (the haves, because of their preferential Hebrew background). So the Apostles who were already serving the whole group with one form of service, appointed others to serve specifically the have-nots in another form of service.

Jesus came to bring life to all, and our function as believers is to serve, to empower, and to bring them to Jesus. When we see ourselves as stewards of God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus, we will then reap a great harvest and “The word of God will spread and the number of disciples will increase rapidly” (Acts 6:7).