September 24, 2017

Tell Them All about the King of All Grace

Luke 19:11-27 (NASB)

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. So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

The Good News (e.g. “gospel”) of Jesus Christ has been entrusted to us by the King Himself. He has gone to “a distant country” but will return. When He returns He will desire to know “what business we have done” with the mina He left us. A mina is a measure of weight, about 1.25 pounds, or 1/60th of a talent (75 lbs.). In Jesus’ day, a mina represented about 100 days of work, for each day you would receive approximately one shekel (e.g. “a day’s wages”). A king entrusting riches to his people was not unusual.

Background: There is an event recorded by Josephus in his history of the Jews that took place 30 years before Jesus tells this parable. King Herod was king over Judaea, but only a subordinate king under the Roman emperor. Caesar in Rome appointed and removed Jewish kings at his pleasure. When King Herod died, Herod’s son Archelaus succeeded him. This is the Herod of Matthew 2:22. When Joseph heard that Archelaus was king in Judea he was afraid to go back to Judea.  Archelaus had no right to the throne until Caesar officially made him king. So Archelaus went to Rome, which in those days was a far country, that he might receive the kingdom. While he was on his way, his citizens in Judea sent a message to Caesar — “We will not have this man to reign over us.” So, Caesar divided the kingdom and put Archelaus on the throne as a tetrarch, that is “a ruler with less power than a real king of the Jews.” When Archelaus returned from Rome, he took revenge upon those who had opposed him as their king.

  1. The Good News of God’s grace in Jesus Christ has been “entrusted” to us.
    Paul calls it “the glorious gospel of God, which has been committed to our trust” (I Timothy 1: 11). We are entrusted with the responsibility to relay to other people what God has done for us as King. This is your purpose in life. It’s a purpose that can be accomplished in a variety of ways and means.

  2. Christ is interested in our faithfulness in telling rather than our success in converting.
    Some people have a bigger platform, a larger share of giftedness, and an ability to speak to many.
    1. Every servant receives the same gospel (e.g. “the mina”).
      “He called ten of his slaves and gave them ten minas and said to them, “Do business till I come.”
    2. Every servant received the same blessings (e.g. “well done”).
      You would think that the person who received a return of 10 minas, or 5 minas, would be praised more than those who received a return of 1 or 2 minas. Not so. They all heard “Well done.”
    3. Every servant was made the ruler over many things.
      The Bible is quite clear that those who trust in Jesus Christ and what He has done for sinners receive from God “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:4).

  3. Christ condemns those who claim to know Him but don’t want Him to reign over them.
    This parable is sometimes called “The Parable of the Unfaithful Steward.” I think it might be called the parable of the unprofitable servant. He’s a person who accepted grace but refused to teach it.
    1. What the unprofitable servant believed is in verse 21 – “I was afraid of you.”
    2. How the unprofitable servant behaved is in verse 20 – “I kept it away…”
    3. Who the unprofitable servant became is in verse 22 – “By your own words I will judge you.”
    4. Where the unprofitable servant belonged is in verse 27 – “Slay them in my presence.”
      “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:23).

You can view the video for this sermon HERE.