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Sunday, February 24, 2018

posted Feb 27, 2018, 12:13 AM by Site Administrator





Luke 19:11-27

Key Verse 19:13


So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'


First, "Put this money to work" (11-13). Look at verse 11. "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." The expression, "because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once" shows us the reason why Jesus issued this parable, the parable of the mina. In this expression, their mentality in believing and following Jesus was revealed very well. In their eyes, it was really clear that Jesus was the promised Messiah, and Jesus' entry to Jerusalem would mark the beginning of the messianic kingdom promised in the Old Testament. They were happy and excited to follow Jesus, because once Jesus established the messianic kingdom in Jerusalem, they who had followed him, would occupy all high ruling positions in his kingdom and rule the whole world together with him. Their idea was really fantastic: they did not do anything, but only because they believed in Jesus, they would enjoy all the benefits of the kingdom of God. This is a modern day trend in Christian community. It sounds really cool, as many people delight in this idea, saying, "will reign together with Jesus." But in order to correct this misconception of the kingdom of God, Jesus gave this parable, the parable of the mina, showing us where the believers are standing.


Look at verses 12 and 13. A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. Back in those days, since the fastest modes of transportation were animals, like donkeys or camels, the journey would take a long time. So, before leaving, the man called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas, and he told them, "Put this money to work until I come back." As you see in the footnote, a mina was worth about three months'wages. By today's standards, that's about $20,000. It was a big moment for these servants. They were entrusted with their master's money, and now it was up to how they would use it. The command, "Put this money to work," meant that they should invest their master's money very carefully and make a profit without fail.


Here, a man of noble birth refers to Jesus Christ himself; he was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the line of king David. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, people thought that, with his mighty power, Jesus would establish the kingdom of God in Jerusalem at once, destroying all their enemies. They expected that since they followed Jesus believing in him as the promised Messiah, they would enjoy good things of the Messianic kingdom freely – no more work or pain or conflict, but enjoying victories and privileges in his kingdom. But that's not going to happen. Instead, in Jerusalem, Jesus would be crucified, and then, after resurrection, he would go back to heaven, only to return later as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Then, during the period of time between his ascension and his return, what should his followers do while staying on earth? His believers are his servants who are entrusted with the mina in this parable. Through this parable, Jesus shows us that while he is in heaven, it is his believers who should invest his asset, his capital, his mina, and make a profit for him. How long? Until he comes back! This is the believers' position in the world. While our master is in heaven preparing to return, we are here to work and make a profit for him.


One young man finally accepted Jesus as his Savior; he experienced God's salvation. Then, he said, "So, now what?"This is a big question for all believers. As believers, what should we do during our life time here on earth? Should we pursue security and success competing with the people in the world again? No! Should we pursue sinful pleasures in the world again? No! Jesus says, "Put this money to work until I return." Before, we worked for the worthless things of this world; mostly, it was sinful or selfish. But now Jesus wants us to work for him. In Jesus Christ, we no longer live a lowly sinful life, but a glorious life of serving God's mission. Jesus commands us, "Put this money to work."


In the parable, ten servants received ten minas, one mina for each servant equally. This indicates that all believers have the same amount of resources, and the same opportunities. What is this mina, which all believers have in common, and which we can use as the resources to produce a profit for our Master Jesus Christ? The mina may refer to our new life that each of us has received from Jesus Christ, that comes with such value and potential to bear much fruit. Also, the mina can refer to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which every believer received at the time of accepting his grace. The profit Jesus desires is not money or gorgeous buildings, but saved souls. The gospel, the good news we have in Jesus Christ is the real resources with which we can produce many saved souls for Jesus Christ. Now we must put this mina we received from Jesus to work so as to make a profit for him.


Second, "Sir, your mina has earned ten more" (14-19). In this parable, we see another group of people, called, "his subjects." They were his subjects, so they should have honored him and obeyed him. But verse 14 says that theyhated him instead, and sent even a delegation after him to say, "We don't want this man to be our king." They were wicked people. They are those who reject Jesus' kingship over their lives; they reject Jesus' kingship so that they can do whatever they want to do, instead of being instructed to do this or that. 


Look at verse 15. It reads: "He was made king, however, and returned home." Whether they want or not, it did not matter; whether they acknowledged the truth or not, it did not matter. No matter what, he became king and returned. As the king entered through the city gates riding on a tall, white stallion, dressed in royal robes, and accompanied by a great procession of elite royal guards, everyone who loved him and had longed for his return cheered, "Long live the king! Long live the king!" But, all those who rebelled against him watched nervously from the shadows. Once the king got to his palace, however, his first order of business was to see how his servants had done. He sent for those to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.This showed that how and what his servants did with the mina he had given them was important to him.


Look at verse 16. Let's read this verse together:


"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'"


Wow! Ten more! What a surprise! These days, if an investor doubles his investment, he invites all his friends over for cake and ice cream. But, this servant made a 1,000% gain!Usually, when the boss is gone, all the employees enjoy an easy time; such as taking a three hour lunch break to go play golf, playing games on the company computer, or even taking off the whole day to go to Disney Land. But, this servant was different. He took his master's word absolutely, put his mina to work, and night and day, he worked hard, struggling to make his investment successful. His friends might have said to him, "Hey man, take it easy." But, he only worked harder.Finally, after overcoming all the difficulties, he became so successful. Then, the day of his master's returning was the greatest day in his entire life. At the news of his coming back, great joy filled his heart. He ran ahead of the other servants like a 100-meter sprinter to be the very first in line to greet his master. He went before the king, bowed to the ground, and with great joy said, "Sir, your mina has earned ten more."What a glorious moment it must have been! He was so happy to be able to say, "Sir, your mina has earned ten more." How did his master respond? Look at verse 17. Let's read this verse together.


"'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied.'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'"


When the master heard this servant's report, he said, "Well done, my good servant!" The master was so pleased and happy. This servant took his instruction absolutely and worked hard even while he was absent, even while he was not supervising. The master felt so good to see that he had such a trustworthy servant. For the servant, the words, "Well done, my good servant!" fell like music on his ears. Like an Olympic athlete receiving the gold medal, it was the greatest moment of his life. To see his master's smiling face and hear the words, "Well done, my good servant!" was all the reward he could ever want. What is our reward for our lives of faith and hard struggle to bear fruit? It is to hear these words from Jesus, "Well done, my good servant." This is the greatest reward we can aim for. Sometimes, serving God seems too hard, and we face many difficulties. But, when we think about these words, we find new strength and can overcome all difficulties, hardships, and self-denial. This is what we really want to hear: "Well done, my good servant!"Jesus is coming soon. I pray that on the day of his coming, you will be able to say with great joy, "Sir, your mina has earned ten more." I pray that the day of Jesus' second coming may be the greatest day in your life.


At that point, the servant was ready to go home, dancing for joy. But, his master added, "Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities." Wow! Ten cities! What a reward! This man was just a lowly servant, but when he proved to his master that he was trustworthy, his master put him in charge of ten cities. Look at verse 18. After this, the second servant came and said, "Sir, your mina has earned five more." The master said to him, "You take charge of five cities." To the servant who earned ten minas, the master gave ten cities; to the servant who earned five, the master gave five cities. He entrusted each of them according to how much they could handle properly.Once, these men were just lowly servants. But, now, because they proved themselves trustworthy, they were promoted to be rulers, reigning together with their master. They became his partners and loyal coworkers.


The one who produced ten more mina was really determined to work for the master – his self control and hard-working spirit was proved by his fruit, so he was appointed as the governor of a big state like California. The one who produced five more minas worked hard also, but not as much as the one who produced ten more minas – that much was his quality. So he was appointed as the governor of a medium size state such as Washington. In God's kingdom, there are so many positions to be filled – senators, governors and city mayors who would rule and operate the kingdom of God together with Jesus. As Jesus comes back as the King of kings and Lord of lords, he wants to fill all these ruling positions with his believers. So, he gives all his believers an equal chance to prove themselves. While he is absent, some people work really hard for him, with complete self-control, denying their own desires for sleep and easy-going life; overcoming all difficulties and challenges, they produce great fruit for him – they prove their true quality in this way. They are really faithful and loyal to Jesus, and thereby, trustworthy and reliable. Jesus assigns these people in the ruling positions in his kingdom according to their true quality they proved. Some people will be assigned as the rulers over ten cities, some others over five cities, all according to their own quality they proved. These trustworthy people rule together with Jesus in his kingdom, and the whole kingdom will operate so smoothly with justice and righteousness, from top to bottom. 


Most of all, once you are assigned as a governor or city mayor, you don't need to go through re-election campaign any longer; your reward will last forever. Your glory and power and authority will be eternal. Jesus says, "Put this money to work until I come back." Jesus wants us to rule together with him in his kingdom forever. So he gives us the chance to prove our own true quality as trustworthy servants by working for him now, while he is absent. For this, he provides us with the necessary resources, the mina. There is no favoritism. The same chance has been given to all his believers. For the past 2,000 years, all believers have been privileged to work for God – everyone has had his or her own chance, and everyone who has proved himself or herself trustworthy, is blessed to reign together with Jesus. Jesus says, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." (Matt 11:12) Don't you want to occupy an eternal ruling position in the kingdom of God? Don't you want to reign together with Jesus? Then, prove yourself trustworthy by producing good fruit for Jesus Christ.Concentrate all your strength on saving souls. Daniel 12:2,3 reads: "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." He has given you the chance to prove your true quality by calling you to work for his kingdom business. This is the privilege all believers enjoy today – we are given a chance to prove ourselves so that we can be rulers and governors in God's kingdom. I pray that many of us, even all of us, may be assigned as the rulers over ten cities and five cities. "Well done, my good servant. Take charge of ten cities."


Third, "You wicked servant" (20-27). Look at verses 20 and 21. Then another servant came and said, "Sir, here is your mina. I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow." The master could not believe his ears. Not only did this servant completely ignore his command to put the money to work, but now he was explaining why - it was all the master's fault! He said, "You take out what you did not put in and you reap what you did not sow." This shows this servant's mentality. In this servant's eyes, his master was a hard man who just utilized others to get what he didn't work for. He didn't like the idea that, even if he worked hard and made a lot of profit, all the money would go to the master. So, he refused to work for his master. He didn't act like his master's servant, but as if he was his own master.  


At this, the master was angry with him, saying, "I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'" The master pointed out that his excuse was bogus, because, if that was what the servant had truly believed, he would have, out of the fear of his master, at least put the money on deposit in the bank. This servant simply ignored his master's command and despised him. He was a wicked servant.


Why do many Christians not work for God? As this servant shows, it is because they do not understand that they are servants who are supposed to live for God and work for Him. Instead of having that sense of servantship, they want to live their life for themselves, pursuing what they want to do, using their time however way they desire. Jesus is our Master, and we are his servants. We are not supposed to live our own life, but the life of his servants, doing what he wants, and living according to his instructions. Let's remember this: We are his servants, even unworthy servants. 


Another reason is that they do not understand God's good intention in calling them to his mission. They consider God's mission as a burden and thereby, try to not do it as much as possible, coming up with all kinds of lame excuses. We must remember that God is not like a sneaky and evil businessman who takes advantage of undocumented people; He is not interested in utilizing our free labor for his purpose. Didn't Jesus say, "Because you have been trustworthy with a very small matter,..."? What we do here on earth as his servants is a very small matter to him. God is the richest Person in the whole universe; He is the most powerful Person in the whole universe. How much do you think you can help God? Not much! He does not need our support or help. But out of his great love for us, He has given us a chance to work for Him even with an intention to promote us greatly only if we prove ourselves trustworthy. God's mission is God's favor on us.


Look at verses 24 through 26. Let's read these verses together:


24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'25'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!' 26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.'

The master had given the servant a chance to work for him, but he was not faithful to the task at all. He not only wasted his precious time and opportunity but also ignored his master's command, showing his contemptuous attitude toward him. So, the master would not let him have any part in his government. Simply, this servant was fired, while all his companions who had proved themselves trustworthy were promoted highly. This is how things will go when Jesus comes again. As you prove your own quality either good or bad, some people will be promoted to ruling positions to reign together with Jesus forever in his kingdom, while others who have ignored Jesus' will and lived for themselves, despising their master, will have to see Jesus' angry face; they will be put to shame. The believers in the passage had a fantasy idea about enjoying all the privileges of the kingdom of God because they said, "I believe in Jesus; he is the promised Messiah." But Jesus showed them that they must be realistic about the kingdom of God. No company would promote this kind of wicked employees who, while their boss was absent, took a three hour lunch break to play golf. Simply, they are not trustworthy. 


Jesus confirms about how he will deal with everyone including believers in the last chapter of the book of Revelation, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (Rev 22:12) Jesus will reward and judge each person according to the fruit we bear in our life – the fruit we bear proves our true quality, either good or bad, and his judgment is just and right.


When we think about this, we can see that, as Christians, we are not here for vacation, but we are interns or in probation. Our Lord Jesus has graciously given us a chance to work for him so that, if we do well with the task he hired us for during this probation period, proving ourselves trustworthy, he can put us in charge of many cities. He is looking for trustworthy people so that he may fill all important and great positions in his kingdom with them - those people who will reign his kingdom as governors and city mayors together with him forever. For the past 2,000 years of Christian history, all believers have been given this privilege to work for God equally. Many people such as John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Graham proved their quality by dedicating themselves to God's work completely and bearing much fruit; then, they entered glory to reign together with Jesus. If we prove ourselves trustworthy and faithful in this mission while here on earth, Jesus will be happy to have us work with him continually in the eternal kingdom of God. But those who ignore his command will be put to utter shame- in Jesus' eyes, they are wicked servants. They will be fired, and all the privileges given to them will be taken away, and given to those who are trustworthy. Jesus will never let them work in his government - no part in his kingdom. We have about 50 years to work for God as Christians50 years are enough time for anyone to show who he or she is. Jesus has given us this important mission of taking care of his sheep; he wants us to be loyal to him and faithful to this holy mission. Let's give ourselves fully to the work of God, for he is watching, and eternal reward is waiting for us.


In this way, the king treated his own servants, commending those who were trustworthy and giving them more, while punishing those who were wicked. How, then, would the king deal with his enemies? Look at verse 27."'But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.'" There are many people who reject Jesus as their king because they want to be their own king and enjoy their sinful lives. In so doing, they stand as his enemies. When Jesus returns, everyone who rejects him will be treated as his enemies and be punished most severely, even suffering eternal death.


This parable of the mina illustrates Christian life very well. God has given us a chance to prove our true quality by giving us this privilege to work for him. While your boss is absent, while your boss is in heaven, or returning, how do you carry out your task? I pray that all of us may be found trustworthy when he comes back.


One Word:Well Done, My Good Servant! Take Charge Of Ten Cities!