Sunday – June 9, 2019
Word On Worship – Sunday – June 9, 2019
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.
I have a recurring. In this dream it is the end of the semester and I suddenly realize that I have not been attending a class that I’m registered for. The final exam is looming ahead of me and I’m panicked because I haven’t done the work for the class. Thankfully, I usually wake up at this point and realize that I’m off the hook. It was only a dream. But what if it were true? And what if it was not just a college class, but the end of the age and the examiner was the Lord? You realize too late that you must give an account to Him and you have not been doing what you were supposed to have done. That would be an awful nightmare from which you would not wake up!
Jesus tells this parable to warn us about the upcoming exam. He told the parable because the disciples and others who were journeying with Him to Jerusalem had the wrong notion that He would institute the kingdom of God immediately. They didn’t realize that He would suffer and die, be raised again, ascend into heaven, and that many years would go by before He returned to establish His kingdom. Jesus wanted to let His hearers know what they were supposed to be doing in His absence. They were not supposed to sit around waiting for Him to return. Rather, they were to be actively doing business for Him with what He entrusted to them. The day will certainly come when He will return, then each servant must give an account for what he has done.
Remember that the gospel of Luke is purposed to be an explanation of the gospel from a Gentile perspective. Now who do you think the “citizens” in this parable represent? They represent the Israelites, the of Jews in Jesus’ day who rejected Him as their Messiah. And who would constitute the slaves? Slaves were most often foreigners—Gentiles if you would. Jesus has once again turned the world upside-down, for it is the (Gentile) slaves who become rulers, while the Jews, the “citizens” do not even enter the kingdom, but are slaughtered outside. The Gentile thrust of this gospel is once again evident. The way to honor and position is not competition and self-assertion (as the disciples seem to have been doing), but faithful service as slaves. To seek to preserve one’s independence, however, is to invite divine judgment.
Are you a citizen or a slave? Which are you? That is the most important distinction in the world. Your eternal destiny is determined by the decision you make here. Is Jesus the Messiah, the King of the Earth, or is He one to be rejected? If He is Messiah, then you are to be His slave, doing what He has commanded, looking for His return, but “doing business” faithfully until that day. You become a slave by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s King, who came first to die for the sins of men, and who comes again as the judge of all, and the King of the Earth. Your eternal destiny is determined by whether you are a citizen or a slave. May you be a slave, for Christ’s sake, and yours. And if you are a slave, may you (and I) be a faithful slave, one to whom the master can say, “Well done, good slave.”