Summary: Jesus tells this memorable story so His followers would know what they were to do between His departure & His second coming. He would go away for a while and His followers would need to be faithful & productive during His absence
LUKE 19: 11-27 [PARABLES IN LUKE]
THE ONCE & FUTURE KING
What would Jesus have us doing while we live on earth? This final parable in Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem highlights the believer’s responsibility or stewardship during the interval between Jesus’ death and return. Jesus related this story to prepare His followers to understand what they were to be about after He died for mankind’s sin. His disciples were hoping He would set up an earthly kingdom. So Jesus tells this memorable story so His followers would know what they were to do between His departure and His second coming. He would go away for a while and His followers would need to be faithful and productive during His absence (CIT).
Because we live in that interim time period, this parable applies directly to us. [Each of us have been given resources with which to build and expand God’s kingdom.] Jesus expects us to use our talents, time, and gifts for His kingdom. If we use the gifts and opportunities God has blessed us with, they in turn will multiply as we use them and because we used them in kingdom service. [Remember the words Jesus’ just spoken in Luke 17:21, “Behold the Kingdom of God is within you.”]
The story indicates that the King will ask each of us to give an account for what we have done with His gifts when He returns. While waiting for the eternal kingdom of God to begin in glory we are called upon to do Christ’s work. Those who do will be rewarded for their effort. Not only will each be rewarded for their kingdom effort, there will apparently be degrees of reward according to one’s faithfulness also.
Let’s use the following outline to enhance our study:
I. KINGDOM ANTICIPATION, 19:11.
II. RECEIVING HIS KINGDOM, 19:12-14.
III. RETURNING AS KING, 15-21.
IV. REWARDING HIS SERVANTS, 22-27.
On the heels of Zacchaeus’ gift to the poor and returning what he gained dishonestly in demonstration of his true conversion, Jesus relays this stewardship of life parable. Jesus tells this kingdom parable while leaving Zacchaeus’ house in preparation for His arrival in Jerusalem. The purpose of the parable is given in verse 11. “While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.”
Jesus gave this parable because ... the people with Him thought He was going to instated the kingdom immediately. Because of the messianic expectations of Jesus’ day, His proximity to Jerusalem and the importance of His soon arrival there, these messianic expectation. So Jesus is correcting false notions of the nature and purpose of His’ Jerusalem trip. The parable also explains the reason for Jesus’ delay in setting up His Kingdom and helps prepare the disciple for what they should be doing with their life after His return to the Father. [It will also help to dispel some of the disappointment on the part of His followers.]
II. RECEIVING HIS KINGDOM, 19:12-14.
The story begins in verse 12 with a nobleman leaving in anticipation of being appointed king. “So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.”
The parable Jesus tells is a relevant one. [The historical backdrop is that Palestinian rulers such as Archelaus did go to Rome to receive power as king.] King Herod had just died and his son had journeyed to Rome to press his claims for the kingdom. Meantime, his subjects had sent delegations to Caesar saying, “This man is not acceptable as our king.” Jesus is using a contemporary event to veil the telling of His story. [Larson, Bruce. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol. 26: Luke. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1983, S. 285.]
Our nobleman went into a far country to receive his kingdom. The man of noble birth obviously represented Jesus. Because His followers thought the kingdom was to be set up immediately, Jesus wants to explain the reason for the delay in setting up His Kingdom. By saying the nobleman journeyed to a distant country Jesus is suggesting a time interval between the future king’s departure and return. Jesus indicates that He would have to leave them for an extended time before He returns as King to set up His kingdom.
Before leaving the future king in verse 13 entrusts his servants with gifts of which they were to be stewards. “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’
Before leaving the prince “called 10 of his servants and gave them” each a expensive coin called a mina. A mina was approximately three months’ wages for a day laborer, so its value was considerable. [A mina in the Greco-Syrian monetary system was worth 100 drachmas, between 20 and 35 dollars.] They were to invest the money while he was gone.