Q What subject did Jesus speak on more than any other?
A. The Kingdom of God
The continual theme of Jesus’ preaching was the kingdom of God; what it’s like, how to become members in it, how we are to live as members of it.
Luke 19 is parable about the Kingdom of God.
As mentioned, this parable is about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. You might also be interested to know that this parable is based on actual historical events.
When Jesus tells this parable he is sitting at Zacchaeus’ table in the city of Jericho. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, the time was the Passover and the anticipation amongst Jesus’ followers was that upon his entrance into the city that he would begin his kingly rule.
To correct this false hope, Jesus tells this parable.
As mentioned, this parable is based on actual historical events. In particular this parable would have reminded Jesus’ hearers of a man named Archelaus. Archelaus was the son of King Herod, the same King Herod who had all the children in the vicinity of Bethlehem murdered in hopes that Jesus as a toddler would be killed. In the city of Jericho- where Jesus is telling his parable, Archelaus had built a huge and magnificent palace.
Upon his death, Herod, to his 3 surviving sons, left his kingdom and wealth. One of his sons named Archelaus inherited Judea. It was necessary that Caesar ratify his father’s will and his kingship and so he headed off to Rome. Before leaving events occurred which led to his killing 3000 Jews.
Because the people so hated Archelaus for this they sent a delegation of 50 men to Rome to protest Archelaus’ being made king over them. Because of the delegation and many charges of corruption brought against Archelaus’ father, the title of king was not confirmed upon him. Instead he was made an ethnarch over Judea.
Upon his return to Judea he, in revenge, made life even harder for the Jews than it was in the days of his father. 10 years later Caesar banished him from the region for his extreme cruelty.
As you can probably tell, Jesus’ parable would have reminded his hearers of the now dead Archelaus—just note the parallels in the story to him
The question is why? Why did Jesus, knowing of the history of the man who had ruled from that city tell a parable like this and have the parable refer to himself and the kingdom of God?
I. Verse 11 tells us why? Jesus told this parable to make it clear that the time for his ruling over the world was not yet. It was not yet for him to come in his kingdom
It’s hard for us to grasp just how pumped up the people around Jesus were regarding the possibility that Jesus would then enter Jerusalem and assume the kingship.
As mentioned the time was the Passover and every Passover time Jewish expectation regarding the Messiah heightened. Jesus’ followers had in mind that Jesus was heading up to Jerusalem to assume his Kingship, defeat the Romans, and usher in the anticipated time of peace and prosperity.
Jesus’ followers held this expectation in spite of the fact that he had a number of times told them that in Jerusalem he would encounter great hostility and death and then 3 days later he would rise from the dead.
The disciples correctly understood that Jesus was a king. They misunderstood, along with others that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world and that there would be a span of time before Jesus came in his kingdom.
To illustrate that there would be a span of time that would have to pass before he came in his kingdom Jesus speaks of a nobleman who journeyed to a far country to be made king. Jesus is really speaking of himself but in so doing he is stirring the memories of his hearers regarding Archelaus who journeyed to Rome in order that he could be made king (he never was)
2000 years have passed since Jesus ascended to Heaven. To us a lot of time has passed. Yet Jesus and his coming has not been cancelled. The scriptures teach that his return is imminent. The scriptures teach that on the day of God the Father’s choosing Jesus will return gloriously, visibly, in great power, and as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that he will reign—rewarding all those who are his and judging all those who have rejected him.
While the disciples were super eager regarding the kingly rule and coming of Jesus’ kingdom, what about us?
Q Are you excited about Jesus’ return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Do you live with a great sense of anticipation regarding his return?
Is the prayer of Revelations 22:20 “Come, Lord Jesus” on your hearts and minds?
I fear that at times our sense of anticipation regarding Jesus’ coming and rule is not what it should be…. The disciples were pumped up but sometimes we……..
Q Why has there been such a delay in Jesus’ return?
II Peter 3:9 tells us: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”
II. From this parable about the kingdom of God its pretty clear that we are to understand that as members of his kingdom we each have a job to do.
This parable deals with an expectation Jesus has of us his subjects. He is the nobleman of the text. We are the servants of the text.
In this parable the nobleman, before going away to be made king, summons 10 of his servants and to each one a mina is given (worth 100 days wages). The charge: Put this money to work until I come back
As the servants of Jesus Christ, as ones bought and owned by Jesus, we each have been charged by Christ to serve him in complete obedience. To each one of us there is a job to do in his service. Each one of us has been equipped to serve. To each one the same Holy Spirit has been given and to each one of us a spiritual gift has been given. We all have equal opportunity to serve Christ and advance his kingdom.
As the nobleman charged his servants to work and multiply his money until he returned, so to each one of us has been charged to serve Christ productively and fruitfully until he comes.
Listen to I Peter 4:7-10 says “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Q Are you serving?
Q Are you using your gift?
Q Are your priorities straight? Does the kingdom of God come first?
III. When Jesus comes in his kingdom there will be a time of reckoning.
A time of reckoning first for the servants of Jesus
Note our parable: The nobleman returns as King and his first act upon returning is to call his servants before them to find out how they did when it came to advancing his lot.
As you are probably aware. When Jesus comes every single person who has ever lived will appear before what is called the judgment seat of Christ and the life of every single person will be examined and judged.
II Corinthians 5:10 says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Also note: Rev. 20:11ff, Matthew 25:ff, I Cor. 3
Within this parable there are 3 servants of the 10 commented on. The one increased his masters money by 1000%, the second increased his masters money by 500%, the third lost money for his master by doing nothing with it-and money uninvested always depreciates.
The first 2 servants are well commended and given great responsibility within the kings realm. The fate of the third man is not documented but in Matthew 25 where there is a similar parable to this one, the third man is pictured as being thrown into Hell.
A day of reckoning is coming for all people and that includes all people who profess to be servants of Jesus Christ.
Q What will you and I have to show for our efforts?
Q Will you get into Heaven as through the flames as I Cor. 3 suggests some will?
Q Will you receive the commendation of Jesus and rewards to go with it?
One of the things to note from our text is this: The servants of the king were not working for rewards. They were working because of the claim their master had upon their lives.
Also note: The rewards given are amazing in their largess…..
One interesting facet of our text that you might like to explore is this: the rewarded servants in effect reign with the king for they are given charge over his various cities. A theme of the scriptures is that of us one day reigning with Christ. You may wish to further study this concept
The call to us: Faithfullness
To each a charge has been given. Q Are you being faithful? Are you serving? Are you giving? Are you living out this verse “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…?
When it comes to the day we all appear before the judgment seat of Christ there will unfortunately be some like the 3rd servant.
Yes he call the king his lord. Yes he said he feared his lord. But by his actions and his lips he condemned himself.
The wickedness of the third servant is more than evident in our text. In v. 21 he grievously insults his king by charging him with robbery and extortion.
In Mathew 7:21 Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”
There are some in every church who say “Lord, Lord” with their lips but their hearts are far God and sadly they are like the 3rd servant. Unfaithful and false: much like Judas was in the midst of the 12 disciples.
As the scriptures say “every branch that does not produce fruit will be cut off and thrown into the fire” John 15. Also, there is only one soil that produces fruit, the other 3 don’t.
Note: now just so some of you don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about Christians losing their salvation. When we speak of the 3rd servant we are talking about someone who really is a wolf in sheeps clothing. We are talking about a reality: there are some who profess Jesus to be their Savior but what they say with their lips is made a mockery of by their lives. They are false: This is not up to us to decide, though at times such falseness will be more than evident. On the great day of judgment Jesus is the one who will separate the wheat from the weeds/tares.
When Jesus comes in his kingdom there will be a time of reckoning for his enemies.
In Revelations 20:11-15 it says “READ”
In the parable Jesus speaks of the nobleman who is strongly opposed by the citizens of his land. They in fact sent a delegation after him to oppose his being made king. In including this facet in the parable Jesus is drawing on real events that took place when Archelaus went to Rome to seek to be made king. 50 Jews went after him in their hatred of him and opposed him before Caesar.
When Jesus included this in the parable he was in effect making comment upon many of his fellow Jews: Jews who hated him. It was because of Jewish hatred and rejection that the Gospel came to be preached to us who are Gentiles.
There are many today who hate Jesus Christ, as their always has been. In John 15:25 it says “They hated me without reason”. To us this promise has been given: as Jesus has been rejected and hated, so to will we.
When Jesus comes as judge and king of kings his enemies will be vanquished.
In our text we have v.27. Verse 27 tells us exactly what will happen to all who reject Jesus Christ. It sounds so harsh to some “bring my enemies here and kill them in front of me”
That is exactly what has happened over and over again through history (Joshua 10:16ff, I Samuel 15:33). Jesus’ hearers were well familiar this. Archelaus wasted no time in taking revenge upon those who had opposed his quest to be king. In the end Archelaus was banished by Caesar for his cruelty to the Jews.
NOTE: Sometimes as Christians we cringe when we hear words like v.27 come out of Jesus’ mouth. At times the image of Jesus that we build in our heads is a Jesus who is like a big cuddly teddy bear who only says loving, uplifting, encouraging, gentle things to people. That isn’t the real Jesus. He never hesitated to warn people of the fires of Hell and he said some pretty blunt things on a whole variety of subjects.
On the day of reckoning, the day when Jesus comes as judge of the world. All who have rejected him will be cast into Hell.
It’s not cruelty, its deserved justice and by the nature of the parable it ought to be something that is expected.
While in this life no person can say they have not known about God or his standards. There is no one innocent. Every person is a sinner. Every person is worthy of judgment for their rebellion against God. Every person is need of Jesus to be their Savior.
If you haven’t gotten right with God by asking Jesus to be your Savior and committing your life in obedience to him, don’t delay for no one knows the day of his return.
Jesus is coming again. When he does it will be in power and might. He will come as an exalted king seated upon a throne.
By this parable Jesus indicated to his disciples that there would be a span of time before this happened. We are living in the age in which Jesus may come at any moment.
Q Are you ready for his return?
If you are a member of Jesus’ kingdom then there is work to be done. Not from an attitude of do and do
In I John 5:3 we are called to obey God from the motive of love for him “This is love for God, to obey his commands, and his commands are not burdensome”
When Jesus comes in his kingdom we will all be called before him to give an accounting
If we’ve been faithful and worked hard for Jesus’ we will be commended and rewarded
We cannot pass lightly over the example of the 3rd servant. Calling Jesus Lord implies obedience to him and loving service. Faith without works is dead.
At his coming all the enemies of Jesus will be cast into Hell
As I leave you today I want to ask 2 questions
1. Are you right with God? Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior
2. Christian: are you working hard for Jesus or are you hardly working? Are you killing time or redeeming it: for as the scripture says : redeem the time for the days are evil.