This week’s scripture is out of Genesis 37:12-20. Joseph tells his family about his dreams and then is sent by his father to Shechem to find out how his brothers are doing feeding the flocks. Joseph did not find his brothers where they were suppose to be, but they had gone down into Dotham. When the brothers saw the “son”, Joseph coming from a long way off, they say to each other, “Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit…and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” Gen 27:20
This reminds me of a parable Jesus told; it was about a vineyard. The owner of the vineyard had leased it out to overseers. But, when the owner sent his son to check on the work being done, the overseers said to themselves, “This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.” Luke 20:14
In this week’s passages, we find two stories about leaders. In one story, they were shepherds who were responsible for sheep, and in the other, overseers, responsible for fruit. In each story, we find the son coming to check on the family business. What should the son have found in each case? Let us think about this as we analyze this further.
In each of these stories, we are apt to think successful leaders are those who are increasing their flocks or their fruit. They should be those who can be measured according to their annual end of the year reports. Last year we had 100 sheep, this year we have 125, we show a net gain of 25%. Last year we had grapes which produced 100 gallons of average wine, this year they produced 100 gallons of excellent wine. They were successful, right? Did not Jesus also give a parable about stewards and their talents? In that parable, a good steward was one who increased that which was given to them.
In this week’s scriptures, we find that success was not measured in numbers, but in faithfulness, and the leaders were found wanting. Although the “son” was sent out by the father to check on the family business, the real focus was upon the acceptance of the son. It would not have mattered in either of these stories how much increase the leaders could prove they had in the last year, since they were actually rejecting the “son” ruling over them. The only thing that mattered was the acceptance of the “son” when he came.
Are we caught up in producing numbers, but all the while missing the main point?
Let us be those who keep our eyes upon Jesus, the “Son”, looking forward to His coming! May all honor and glory go to the Son! May we all realize who the true Ruler over our hearts and lives is. May we never try to usurp His authority! And may He find us where we are suppose to be when He comes to assess His work in our lives.