Summary: A stewardship sermon on what God expects of us.
WHAT GOD EXPECTS OF YOU
Little Cajun lady called the police with the complaint that a man next door was indecently exposing himself. Cops arrive. She brings them into her bathroom and said, "Would you look at that! A man indecently exposes himself." The officer looked out the window and saw a man next door in his bathroom shaving, but all he could see was his head, neck, and shoulders. He said ma’am I can’t arrest him; all I see is his head, neck and shoulders." She said, "Oh no, no, stand up on this box and you’ll get a much better view." [comedian Justin Wilson]
Many times we just can’t see what Jesus is trying to show us. And how He helps us to see it is to tell a parable. He creates a word picture, a story to better illustrate the truth He wants us to learn. In our text today, the people have a big misunderstanding about the Kingdom of God. They just can’t see it. This crowd following Jesus to Jerusalem is on a collision course with deep disappointment. Knowing Jerusalem was going to be the capital of God’s Kingdom, they believed that as soon as Jesus arrived there, He’d set up the Kingdom. This would free them from Roman rule.
So Jesus had to correct their misconception. In vs.12 He begins the story of a nobleman who goes to a far country. Now "far country" means he is going to be gone for a while. And the reason he is going is to receive the rule. Then he will return. Now I know you are already ahead of me. We know this is a picture of Jesus returning to the Father to sit at the right hand-receive the Kingdom if you will. And then He’ll return. But catch this. This story parallels a historical fact. The Herod’s in that day would have to go to Rome in order to receive their rule. The people would go before Augustus Caesar and protest and in fact say (vs.14), we will not have this man reign over us. Jesus’ listeners now understand what He’s talking about. In essence He is saying, "I’m going to My Father; you occupy till I come, and this is what I expect out of you. With this same story, God wants to clear up any misconceptions you and I have when it comes to stewardship and the Kingdom of God. We are entrusted to manage the affairs of the Kingdom while He’s away.
So what does Jesus expect of us. 2 Expectations: He expects……..
1. AN INVESTMENT DURING HIS ABSENCE vs.12-13
TREASURE- Notice in vs.13 (in this story) he gave each one a treasure. Each received a pound, or a mina. This was a Greek coin worth about 100 days wage. The master had given each one some working capital w/ which to do business. Now catch this. This mina does not just represent money or spiritual gifts alone. Each one given equal-one apiece. As children of God, what do we all have equally? The gift of salvation!!! Let’s get the whole picture. It’s not just this gift or that gift, or tithes. It’s your salvation; therefore you are to invest all of you, your time, talents, gifts, money…all of it into the kingdom of God. Some say ‘I’ll just give of my time.’ Others say, ‘I’ll give my tithes but don’t ask me to serve.’ It’s not one or the other. It’s both. Like both wings on the airplane-you’ve got to have both. As a child of God, when it comes to the kingdom of God, we’ve got to quit thinking in terms of calculation. We must think in terms of submission. Submit to the King. It’s all His. Quit thinking in terms of calculation. [Ex.]—If you make $500 a week, how much is God’s? Don’t answer too fast. 500 is God’s. Some of you were calculating the 10%. NO! All of it is God’s. The air you breathe, the strength you have, the money you’ve got, the spiritual gifts…all of it is to be used to glorify God, and building up the kingdom of God.
TASK-Now note the task He gave—vs.13b "occupy till I come" "do business till I come".
This word means to do business. To get busy; to work for gain; to trade. This is the only time in the NT this word is used. While we wait expectantly; we’re to work effectively. While we wait w/ expectation, we work w/ devotion. We have this dual assignment and we must do both faithfully.
Now, what is the task? Well, what was and still is the King’s task? Answer vs.10. Seek and save that which is lost. (II Cor.5:20—we are the King’s ambassadors.) Our task is to be a witness.