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Lessons from Luke

Luke 19:11-27

"11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 "So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' 14 "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this [man] to reign over us.' 15 "And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 "Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 "And he said to him, 'Well [done], good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' 18 "And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' 19 "Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.' 20 "Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 'For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.' 22 "And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, [you] wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 'Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' 24 "And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give [it] to him who has ten minas.' 25 ("But they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas.') 26 'For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 'But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay [them] before me.' “ 

This parable is pregnant with understanding and wisdom, forth-telling and prophecy but we will examine only a few of the meanings here. Even where this parable is situated in the life of Jesus is prophetic and powerful. 

    On his way to Jerusalem for the “Triumphal Entry” or as they would have seen it, the Passover, we see the path of Jesus lead not only through cities and towns but through the hearts of men. Jesus comes through Samaria where He is asked to celebrate the Passover with the Samaritans (Luke 9:51-53). What they were asking was that He go against the prophecies about Him as the Messiah and that He go against Torah before He had finished fulfillment of the Law by celebrating the Passover somewhere other than Jerusalem. Next, He went into and through Jericho- the city of man. Prior to entry of Jericho, He restores the sight of a blind man and ushers in praises for God throughout the streets of Jericho, yet no other miracle is completed there that we know of during this time frame. Next, He is almost to Bethany and sees Zacchaeus the tax collector, with whom He must dine. He is accused for this action and responds that Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham and therefore is entitled to eternal life through Him. (Incidentally, in response to his accusers, Zacchaeus states how “good” he is but Jesus does not acknowledge this self-righteousness as the source of God’s forgiveness and acceptance- He is already in the family therefore eligible to inherit eternal life from Jesus.) Next, there is the home of Mary, Martha, & Lazarus after the resurrection of Lazarus in Bethany. During this visit, we are made aware that first, Jesus is staying with them, and second that there is a plot of the Jews (Pharisees & Sadducees) to re-kill Lazarus so that the peoples following of Jesus is dissuaded. At last, just prior to entering Jerusalem, Jesus relates the above parable to those critics of His involvement with Zacchaeus and Lazarus. 

This parable prophesies how God will judge the earth- but we will get to that. 

Let us examine the hearts of men during Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem as the Passover Lamb:

  • Forcing God to yield to men:

        The heart of man will always want God to yield to itself and must humble itself to follow God’s plan instead of trying to force God to follow the plan of men. If one attempts to force God to yield to their own plan, the result will be offense toward God because that man will not receive anything from God. 

  • The will of God can be accessed by believers and God gives the believer credit for it

    In the explanation above, we see that if a thing is outside the will of God, God will not be made to perform that thing. In stark contrast, we see that when an event is inside the will of God, we can approach God and receive what we need from Him and He will give us the credit for the receipt thereof. Furthermore, the will of God typically goes against the labels of possibility of men. 

  •  The righteousness of man is offensive to man and of no affect for obtaining eternal life

                Religion will always look at your label instead of your blood. One can never do or not do enough to win favor with God or man. Man because they eyes of the wicked are always on the ends of the earth and God because our own righteousness is as filthy rags. It is the recognition by God that a man is one of His chosen that opens the door for the family member to receive eternal life, but it is the acceptance by the man that God has chosen him that manifests eternal life. 

  • The Lord makes his home with the resurrected

                Mankind and humility draws the mercy, compassion, healing and salvation of God, but it is the resurrected, new creation that offers Him a place to abide. The former is the catalyst for the latter, and it is only the act of God resurrecting the dead from sin to life that offers a place of residence for the Lord. 

    The parable draws out that God came on purpose to His kingdom- Jerusalem- and meant for His influence to spread from His kingdom to the world at large through the direct influence of His subjects. He gave them exactly what they would need to influence the world based on their ability and personalities. Some followed after him in utter resistance saying that they refused to allow this God to Lord over them because they did not understand that the will of God is subject to the will of man as such {see explanation one}. Second, the Lord wanted an account from His servants before He dealt with the resistant hearts of those who refused Him. This is prophetic of the Bema Seat judgement of Christ. Judgement will begin with the house of the Lord. 

The will of the Lord is to reward those who are faithful with what He has given them and sometimes that means fighting through the labels of the world to receive the full blessing and intention of God {see explanation two and verse 16 in the italicized parable above}. Third, just because there is resistance to the will of God, the word of God will not return to Him void in the same way that the blind man was healed and that the servant in the story was able to bring more lives into the kingdom. God, in the true story of the blind receipt of sight and the account of the mina, gives credit to the servant instead of taking the credit for Himself.  Fourth, there are those servants who will hide themselves, hide their lives from the work of God because they don’t fully believe they have the authority that God gave them- they will not receive any rewards in the Bema seat judgment. This is illustrated by Jesus entering into and going through the city of Jericho without any resulting healing, provision, coupled with the servant who did not yield any lives more than his own. The people of Jericho refused to receive the provision of God in the face of his provision and so God used their own judgement against them, they counted themselves unworthy and so they were unworthy as the parable of the unworthy servant. Finally, God makes His abode with the new creation- the resurrected then, once His own house is judged- at the Bema seat- then He will judge those who refused Him with death of the flesh in hell as expressed in verse 27 above.

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