“And he called His ten servants and delivered to them ten pounds, and said unto them, ‘Occupy ’till I come'” (Luke 19:13).
The words of Jesus were spoken in a parable wherein “a certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12). There was an underlying issue with the nobleman, “his citizens hated him and sent a message after him saying ‘We will not have this man to reign over us'”(Luke 19:14).
Occupy: (Gr. Pragmateuomai from Pragma): To busy oneself with trade, business, matters, things and affairs
There is a message here for the saints, the Body of Christ, the Church, the believer. We serve a Master Who has given us the means and wherewithal to fulfill our commission and charge to conduct the affairs of the Kingdom, just as Jesus Himself did as He said to His parents, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).
The business, matters, things and affairs of the Kingdom are ours to attend; however hostile the situation may be. There are many in our environment today who are saying what those citizens of the nobleman said in their day: “We will not have this man to reign over us”. Christ is not a popular Lord in our world today. Jesus said to His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Nevertheless, we have been given our orders to “Occupy”.
There are many forces aligned against us: corrupt governments, false prophets, and the evil hearts and minds of fallen man. Regarding the latter, the Apostle says, “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). The Apostle James also wrote: “You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The Apostle Peter gave us this warning: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord Who bought them, and bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (II Peter 2:1).
Occupying in hostile territory is not an easy task, but nevertheless, it is necessary. The Kingdom has come, the will of God must be done in earth as it is in heaven. We are the servants of the Nobleman; we have a charge to undertake; a charge to which we must give an accounting to the Lord upon His return. There will, indeed, be an accounting and “to everyone who has shall be given; and from him that has not, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Luke 19:26). Stewardship is important, being responsible for what we have been given is important and so will determine our eternal reward.
Occupy ’till I Return: How are you conducting your affairs of the Kingdom? Do you fear God? Are you being diligent and responsible in your duties? Don’t you want to hear those words from the Master, “Well done! You good and faithful servant” (cf. Luke 19:17a). Yes, it is time to occupy. It is time to advance. It is time to stand fast in the midst of opposition, persecution, trials and temptations. It is time to follow in the footsteps of our forebearers. It is time to continue and be faithful to the coming of the Lord.
The Apostles had to deal with Rome with its Caesars and their edicts. From the beginning to the present time there have been martyrs who in their service paid the ultimate price for their faithfulness. The enemies of God and Christ are not repentant, they are still saying, “We will not have this Man reign over us”. They are still raging and imagining a vain thing” They are still “taking counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed” (cf. Psalms 2:1-2). What shall we then do? Occupy! The Lord is at hand. His return draws nearer with every passing day. Occupy! “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2).