Today’s readings… Numbers 8&9, Proverbs 5, Luke 19
In our chapter in Luke today (19) We read that Jesus “proceeded to tell a parable … because they supposed that the Kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
He said therefore, ‘A nobleman (Jesus) went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.” [v.11,12] We know this parable well. The nobleman calls “10 of his servants” and “gave them 10 minas and said to them, ‘engage in business till I come’ ”[v.13]
A mina coin is the equivalent of 3 months wages for a labourer and they each have the same amount. When the time eventually comes for his return he calls his servants to him to ask how they have traded. Two examples are given, one has doubled his money and another has achieved a 50% increase. Both are commended and given positions of authority.
There is another that does nothing with the money, as a result he is called “a wicked servant” v.22] All who put no value on the ‘word’ they have been given are seen by Jesus as “wicked.”
What we are inclined to overlook is that there is another class of people in the parable called “citizens.” [v.14] – they are there when he goes away and when he comes back. They are not interested in working for the nobleman at all. The text says, “they hated him”[v.14]!
It is the same Greek word as in Ch.14 v.26 where Jesus challengingly says that the one coming to him must have an attitude of “hate” toward all their nearest relatives “and even his own life” or “he cannot be my disciple.”
There is no place for the “lukewarm” (Rev.3 v.16) in our relationship with the nobleman. These “citizens” send a “delegation” [v.14] saying they do not want him as their king! When he returns he counts them as “enemies.”
So the world is made up of 3 kinds of people. Firstly those who are diligent and dedicated in their service to Christ: secondly those who accept his “money” but are not diligent, and thirdly, those who want nothing to do with the nobleman; they do with their lives whatever pleases them. What a tragedy to be in the last class, “as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” [v.27]
How soon now before the world witnesses this “slaughter”? But let us finish on a positive note, let’s recall what we read about 4 weeks ago in 1 Cor. 4 v.5, “do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”
What will he “bring to light” about you and I and our work as “his servants”? Let us keep asking ourselves this question today – and make sure we get the right answer.