What Jesus Did! 'The Greatest Risk' — Luke 19:20-27

Thursday, November 9, 2023

[Jesus concluded the story about the nobleman who became king,] "But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, 'Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant.'

"'You wicked servant!' the king roared. 'Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I'm a hard man who takes what isn't mine and harvests crops I didn't plant, why didn't you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.'

"Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, 'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.'

"'But, master,' they said, 'he already has ten pounds!'

"'Yes,' the king replied, 'and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. And as for these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king — bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.'"

— Luke 19:20-27 NLT

Key Thought

The other servants who received the king's silver made good use of it, [1] but the third servant did nothing. His view of the king was very negative, and he was afraid to take risks and truly use the money entrusted to him. His fears made him take the greatest risk of all: doing nothing. Fear immobilizes us. Jesus doesn't want us to be afraid to risk for the Kingdom; in fact, he wants us to know that the greatest risk of all is to look fearfully at God and to think we are playing it safe by just hiding all that he has entrusted to us to use for his glory.

[1] Luke 19:12-19.

Today's Prayer

Father, keep my heart from being afraid to try to do great things for you. While I know that there is always a risk of failure in my efforts, I also realize that an even greater failure would be to do nothing with all that you have entrusted to me. Give me wisdom and confidence so that I put your truth and blessings in my life to beneficial use. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 3:20-21
  • 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
  • 1 John 4:18


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Illustration of Luke 19:20-27 NLT — "But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, 'Master, I hid your money and kept it safe."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.