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Stewardship of God’s House: What is it?

Sat, Feb 9, 2013

Featured, Stewardship

I have always wondered whether we could distill the role of a Pastor/ Shepherd or really any leader of the local church (no matter the size). What should be the overriding responsibility that Jesus has entrusted the stewards of His church, until He comes again?

I know that each church has its own role to play in God’s Kingdom, but I thought there should perhaps be a guiding principle that exists, so pastors can check themselves and the sheep can have a baseline to know whether their pastor is preaching and doing what Jesus has entrusted Him to do. So I decided to look up the word “steward” in the bible.

The first time the word ‘steward’ (in the New King James version) appears is in Genesis 43. It referred to the steward of Joseph’s house. The Hebrew words translated to “steward” is “iysh bayith”, which literally translates to man of the house. The idea here being Joseph is the master and this steward deals with the day-to-day running of the household, with the authority given to him by the master. This is the same as Jesus being our Lord and the pastors being his stewards, serving and running his household on earth (the church).

Let’s set the background of where we are in Genesis 43. Joseph’s brothers had already met Joseph for the first time and he had given them the grain/ bread and returned their money to them, but demanded that they bring Benjamin, the next time they came. They were now returning to buy more grain with Benjamin, but had not met Joseph for the second time. This parallels the period between Jesus’ first appearance on earth and us now awaiting His second coming.

The steward now meets the brothers and it’s important to study what he says and does for them as this is the first time in the Bible the role of the steward is described in any detail.

But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. So the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys feed. Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there. (Genesis 43:23-25 NKJ)

The first thing he says to them is “Peace be with you, do not be afraid”. This foreshadows and parallels what Jesus said (John 14:27), where He gives us His peace and tells us not to be afraid. If you look throughout the gospels, Jesus keeps reiterating to us, “Do not be afraid.” Even in Revelations, when Jesus appeared to John, He said “Do not be afraid,”(Rev 1:17). Thus I believe that underlying message of whatever a pastor/ steward is preaching, there should always be Jesus preached and glorified; proclaiming His shalom peace and for us NOT to be afraid, because He is our Lord and Saviour!

The next thing the steward said was, “Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks;” There are many levels to this but the important treasure that Abba Father has given us is His Son Jesus Christ. In Him are all treasures and blessings.

Now look at what the steward did after he said all those things. He took them into Joseph’s house, gave them water, washed their feet and fed their donkeys. This is what pastors should be doing, bringing the sheep into the house, quenching their thirst with everlasting water, meeting their needs both spiritually and physically.

Finally, the last verse shows us the long-term goal/role of all pastors/stewards: “Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there.”

It is clear that the role is to guide, prepare and mature us for the second coming of Christ. As stewards of God’s house, their purpose is to serve the master of the house, who is Jesus, to build His kingdom and His glory, by tending and growing the people and to prepare them for the coming of the Lord!

There is more to this passage but I have tried to condense it. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

God Bless

Ed

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    Fri, Apr 12, 2013

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