Summary: This is a sermon about dong more for God with what we have. No one is excused from working for God. This message is a challenge for Christians to do more and learning that they have been given the abilities, resources, gifts etc to do so.
The Parable of the Mina
Introduction: Ill. Once a man said, “If I had some extra money, I'd give it to God, but I have just enough to support myself and my family.” And the same man said, “If I had some extra time, I'd give it to God, but every minute is taken up with my job, my family, my clubs, and you have every single minute!” And the same man said, “If I had a talent I'd give it to God, but I have no lovely voice; I have no special skill: I've never been able to lead a group; I can't think cleverly or quickly, the way I would like to.”
And God was touched, and although it was unlike him, God gave that man money, time, and glorious talent. And then He waited, and waited, and waited . . . . And then after a while, He shrugged His shoulders, and He took all those things right back from the man, the money, the time and the glorious talent. After a while, the man sighed and said, “If I only had some of that money back, I'd give it to God. If I only had some of that time, I'd give it to God.”
And God said, “Oh, shut up.”
And the man told some of his friends, “You know, I'm not so sure that I believe in God Anymore.”
(God is no fool, 1969, Abindgon Press)
If you are too lazy to put God's gifts to work, don't blame God for it.
This morning we will be examining the lesson behind the parable of the minas (pounds) (if you have your bibles with you turn with me to Luke 19:14)
I read that Josephus records that Herod as you know was ruler of Judea. He was appointed king by Caesar. Once he died his son, Archelaus went to Rome, a far away country (to them at the time) to be made king in his father's place. The people hated him and sent a large group to petition Caesar saying “We will not that this man reign over us.” but Caesar made him an ethnarch, a ruler with less power than a king. When Archelaus returned to Judea he brutally punished all his detractors that petitioned Caesar not to make him ruler of the land but he rewarded all of his loyal defenders. According to Jewish historians, this would have happened about 30 years before Jesus speaking this parable. So the disciples would have been very familiar and could relate with the story behind the parable. The disciples expected at any moment, the Romans to be ran out and immediately the old Israel restored, like the good ole days of King David. And everything would be great again. But Jesus explains how their expectations of the coming kingdom were misplaced and that he will go away and they (we) must work until he returns.
In the parable, the nobleman who becomes King is Jesus. The servants are his disciples (then and today). The mina (pound) is any spiritual gift, ability, or resource, that we have in our life to be used to spread the gospel and increase the kingdom of God. (read v.11-14)
Transition: I just have three points to share- we learn that there are 2 types of people in the world, second that there will be good accounts, and thirdly we learn that there will be bad accounts. Let's begin..
I. There are 2 types of people in this world. (Luke 19:14,15)
You are either an enemy or a servant of the king. No middle ground...
a) Enemies of Jesus
Whether you work and live for yourself, the world, or the devil, all three masters are the same, or at least might as well be the same, because they carry the same punishment.
There were those who said “we don't want this man to be our king.” There were those who shouted “NO! Not Him!” when Pilate offered to release Jesus. They had rejected Jesus as king and made themselves the first enemies of the cross.
Many have followed in their mold ever since. Some today are infuriated with the notion that Jesus is King. Michael Brown from his 'In the line of fire' column with Charisma magazine recently said “I believe there is a common thread that unites the new atheism, the radical left, and the gay activist revolution. It is the philosophy that says “we will not have God and his Son rule over us!” He also notes that “Philosopher Richard Rorty was even more direct, wanting parents who send their children to college to know that, as professors “we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to stop your fundamentalists religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” (Michael Brown: what's so great about Christianity: Dinesh D'Souza)