Wisdom from A Trader


The other day I was preparing a Bible study on the Parable of Ten Minas that we read in Luke 19: 11-27
A word in that passage drew my attention during the study.
That was not a deep theological topic, but that got my attention.
I was thinking and praying about it for further guidance from God.

Luke 19:13  And he called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said unto them, Trade ye herewith till I come.   (American Standard Version)

I am talking about the word “Trade”

This message is for everyone, for all people living a secular life or a religious life.
I am sure that all those are in secular job or business and all those who are in our Lord’s Ministry for the Kingdom will be blessed by this message.

In a sense, those who are in our Lord’s Ministry are also Traders
They trade with the Gospel of the Kingdom earning Souls for the Kingdom of God.

So, all secret wisdom of a trader that is narrated hereafter is for all and every one, without mentioning it always.

The Bible verse I read above is from the story of a rich noble man who was travelling to a far place.
Before he started his journey he entrusted his wealth to 10 of his servants and asked them to “Trade” till He returned.

In King James Version, the word used is “Occupy” for trading.
In some other versions, the word “Trade” is used.

Luke 19:13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.  (KJV)

Luke 19:13  And He called his ten servants and delivered ten minas, and said to them, Trade until I come back.   (MKJV)

Luke 19:13 "So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.'  (NKJV)

Luke 19:13 And he called ten of his servants and gave each of them a pound, instructing them to trade with the money during his absence.  (Weymouth’s New Testament)

Luke 19:13 So he called ten of his servants, and gave them ten minas [one apiece, each equal to about a hundred days’ wages] and said to them, ‘Do business [with this] until I return.’ (Amplified Bible – AMP)

Many of the translators have used the word, “TRADE”
That is, the rich noble man who was travelling to a far place entrusted his wealth to his servants and asked them to Trade.

The original Greek word used in this verse is:   pragmateuomai  (prag-mat-yoo'-om-ahee)

That Greek word means:  

to busy oneself with
i.e. to trade that you are occupied

That means the rich noble man in the parable asked his servants to occupy themselves in trade so that they are busy with it and goes for nothing else.

When I came to know this meaning of the sentence, the Holy Spirit prompted me to concentrate on the word “Trade”.
From that day I have been pondering over this phrase.
Slowly our Lord has imparted some wisdom from the life of Traders.

His Ministry as a Trade

I often used to talk about His ministry as a Trade.
We are trading in Gospel for perishing souls.
We are working for our Master and His Kingdom.
We do not deal with earthly materials but with eternal spiritual life.

So there is something for us to learn from Traders.
When I say traders I mean traders of the Bible time
Traders of the Bible time leave their families, travel from place to place, cities to cities, buying and selling.
There was no internet connection, email, telephone or not even postal service at that time.
Uncertainty was a part of their life and occupation.
But they returned home rich with money and other material things.

 1. Choose the area of trade

It is finding answers to two questions:

1.   What shall he trade
2.   Where shall he trade

There are many traders around.
He may be seeing them coming and going in his own city
They are trading in different materials
Some trade with gold or silver, some others with spices or precious stones and still some others with silk and perfumes.

Some trade in cities, with rich people 
Some others trade in villages with common people
Some trade with Kings and noble men

What is your area of trade?  
This is an important question

A successful trade is not an accident
It is a choice

He weights his capacities, his habits, his physical condition, his family etc.
He consider the inclination of his mind and soul
Then he choose a trade.

Everybody is special and unique.
So choice is vital in your Trade
If you choose well you are won or done.
2. Acquire sufficient knowledge and expertise

It is the next important secret of a successful tradesman
It is not a secret that, before he starts the business all tradesmen acquire sufficient knowledge and expertise about his chosen trade.

He has chosen a trade.
He needs sufficient knowledge in the products he deals with
He must know from where he can buy his goods and where he can sell.
He must be aware of the quality of the product and how to distinguish good quality materials from lower quality materials
He must have full knowledge of its market price while buys and sells it.

He must be an expert in the goods he trade with.
Otherwise he will be a loser.

Trading is no fools business.
3.     Investment/ employ yourself

The first employ in a trade is the trader himself.
This is not because he has no servants.
It is because it is his business.
None can substitute a trader.

The first investment in a trade is the trader.
A trader invests his life in the trade.
4.     Ready to take the risk

Trading was a risky profession during Biblical time.
It often demanded exhaustive journey through strange lands and treacherous ways.
A trader carries with him precious things and money/ gold or silver in Biblical times.
There was the risk of highway robbers and robbers in inns/hotels.
Not only wealth but even their life was at stake.

Success demands your life unto death.

Success never lay in the ditches of valleys; it is always on the summit of mountains. 

5.     Pay for yourself

You are the first employ in your trade
So pay for yourself
Do not consume everything you harvest
You need a part of the harvest for future
So determine your wages
6.     Servant of the master

During the Bible and later, the Middle East had the slavery system.
But many slaves enjoyed a happy life under merciful masters.
Good masters permitted their slaves to do a trade or business independently.
A part of the profit will go to the master.

For them the business belongs to the master
There may be more than one slave under the same master doing their chosen trade.
All under the same master are equal though they may involve in different trades
No unhealthy competition was warranted.

All business belongs to the master, our God
We are servants employed under Him
All trades must be ruled according to the rules and regulations of the Kingdom of God.
7.   Leave a Legacy
The trade should continue to the next generation
There is a lot of investment in a trade
Do not let it end with you
Leave a legacy

A successful legacy is the success of a successful man.

No legacy means the empire goes with you to the grave.
Lack of a successful legacy is failure of many great men.

In Biblical times, the Jewish Rabbis create disciples to leave a legacy
Every successful disciple is an exact copy of his master.
If he continues to follow his master in creating a legacy, the master will live long.

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