Summary: Christ is the returning King. When He comes, He will judge people with regard to their submission to His rule in their lives.
Text: Luke 19:11-27
Introduction: In the early 1990s the American media reported on the case of Michael Fay, an18-year-old American residing in Singapore. He was charged with defacing personal property and had to face the state’s legal punishment for the crime...which in this case was four months in jail, a $2,200 fine and 4 strokes of a cane. No matter how much protest was made in this country (President Clinton appealed on his behalf) regarding the cruelty of the punishment, in the end no one disputed the right of the Singapore government to follow its own rules of governing. So in the spring of 1994, Michael Fay stripped naked in the caning room of the prison in which he was housed. He bent over and his arms and legs were fastened to an H-shaped trestle by straps. A protective covering was placed over his kidneys. A prison official, a medical officer and the caner were the only ones present. The caner wound up and, using his full body weight, struck with the 13mm-thick rattan rod, which had been soaked overnight to prevent it from splitting. Each stroke on Fay’s exposed buttocks came about half a minute apart. It was over in minutes, but not without much pain. It’s good to remember that rules governing a group of people are set by the one who rules, not those who are ruled. In the parable we’re going to look at today, we discover that Christ rules heaven and earth as King. He sets the rules for life in His kingdom and judges His subjects based on them.
Background: In Luke 19:9, Jesus proclaimed, "Today salvation has come to this house..." This He said, while journeying toward Jerusalem. It wouldn’t be long before the crowds would be calling out, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." They would watch Him exercise His authority by cleansing the temple and astonishing the Pharisees. Because of this many in the crowd would have taken His words to mean that the Messiah, the long awaited hope of Israel, was about to take His rightful place as the King of the Jews. Seeking to correct this misunderstanding Jesus tells them a parable in which He categorizes people based upon their response to His rule over their lives.
Christ often used categories to define people. In Matthew 23:32, 33 we find that upon His return He will separate the sheep and the goats; in Matthew 13:30 He refers to some people as wheat and others as tares. Luke 8 tells us that He used different kinds of soil to represent different kinds of people. In this passage, our Lord sees everyone as fitting into one of three categories: Those who accept Christ’s rule; those who neglect Christ’s rule; and those who reject Christ’s rule. Before we look at these, it would be helpful to consider a few assumptions that are made about Christ in this parable.
A. Christ is King (See Luke 19:12).
1. He was born "King of the Jews" (See Matthew 2:2).
2. He introduced the kingdom during His time on earth (See Matthew 12:28). Because His kingdom was not of this world (See John 18:36), He refused any attempt on the part of the people to make Him an earthly king that could wield earthly power (See John 6:15).
B. Christ is Coming (See Luke 19:12, 13).
1. He will come again and take us to Himself (See John 14:3).
3. While His coming can occur at any moment, it will be at an hour that we do not expect (See Mark 13:32, 33). We must stay awake and be ready for His coming.
C. Christ is Judge (See Luke 19:14, 15).
1. He will judge the living and the dead (See 1 Timothy 4:1).
2. He will judge righteously (See 1 Timothy 4:8), i.e. without prejudice or partiality.
Now bearing in mind these assumptions let’s look at the kinds of people He will find upon His return.
I. There will be those who have accepted Christ’s rule (See Luke 19:16-19). How we treat things, tells us a lot about who we serve. Ten of the nobleman-turned-king’s servants were entrusted with a sum of money called a "pound." It was the equivalent to 100 days wages for a common laborer. The expectation was that they would "put this money to work until (the king had) come back." The parable doesn’t tell us how many followed the man’s instructions. It does, however, tell us the positive experience of two who did. When called to give an account, they had invested wisely, turning one pound into ten and five respectively. What can we learn from their example?