Sunday, July 10, 2022 Brad’s manuscript
Do His Business Until He Comes
Have you ever had a day where your emotions ranged from the highs to the lows? From joy to sorrow to tears to anger?
Our passage today in the Gospel of Luke is like that. We will read four scenes which reveal a wide variety of responses from the people and from Jesus. Scenes of extraordinary contrasts and irony. Of great emotion and passion.
It makes me think that we should never read the Bible in a monotone voice.
Luke 19:11-27 Parable of Ten Minas
Four weeks ago, we read the story of a Jewish tax collector named Zacchaeus.
Now right after that scene, Jesus launches into this parable, perhaps while still at Zacchaeus’s house at the dinner table in Jericho (18 miles from Jerusalem).
He offers this parable just before he heads to Jerusalem where he will be crucified within a week.
11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’
15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.
16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’
17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’
19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief;
21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and 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 the one who has the ten minas.’
25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’
26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’ ”
So why did Jesus give this parable?
As vs. 11, tells us, the disciples still expected that Jesus, once in Jerusalem, would establish his earthly reign as king.
They continue to struggle in their understanding of Jesus’ mission. He is indeed planning to establish a physical literal kingdom on earth, but not until later. First, he is going to die for the sins of the world, rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven. They didn’t grasp all this until after the resurrection right up to the moment he ascended into heaven, as Acts 1:11 tells us.
So with all this in mind, the disciples needed to be taught how to live while he is away. The parable is clearly an allegory about Jesus and people.
He is the “nobleman” who goes away for a while. Some people don’t want him to come back. Others want him to come back, or at least don’t say they don’t want him to come back.
The nobleman gives 10 people one “mina” each. A mina is a unit of money. It was worth 3-4 months of wages for an average person.
Then in vs. 13 is a key statement in the parable: “‘Engage in business until I come.’ This tells us what the parable is about. The nobleman wants his subjects to work for his benefit and for the kingdom until he returns.
We hear reports from 3 of the 10. The first two have worked hard for the future king. They worked and invested. They did what he asked. With their work for him, they earned 10 and 5 minas, respectfully. A nice return. The king is pleased, and gives them a great reward.
But it’s important to note the reward the King gives them far surpasses what they earned. Overseeing 10 cities and 5 cities. A great responsibility with great honor.
The third man, however, did nothing. He hid his mina and gave this newly crowned king his one mina back. His rationale? He was afraid. He has no relationship with the king, seeing him only as a harsh and severe man. So he figured, why bother trying? So the king condemned him, calling him a “wicked servant.” And even what the man had was taken away.
And then a severe judgment is decreed. All those who didn’t want him to come back are condemned for their rebellion and hatred towards the king. They are “slaughtered” before his eyes.
The parable is about life in the interim between Jesus’ ascension and second coming.
HERE’S THE POINT: The King will return, so we are instructed how to live until then.
This parable serves as a call to all to steward well what Jesus has entrusted to us until he returns as King. It provides great assurance to those who live faithfully for the coming king. It serves as a warning to those who are unfaithful and don’t want the king to return.
In the end, everyone gets what they hoped for.
Some want to please the King, and so they serve the king, bringing him joy, and then receiving reward and honor from him.
Others don’t want him to come back and be their king, so get separation from the king (vs. 14,27).
Perhaps we could summarize the message of the parable by saying this:
This life matters.
What we do with Jesus the Coming King matters. It matters into eternity.
So what does this look like for us?
Remember vs. 13, that we are to engage in the King’s business until he comes back.
How do we do this? He has given us each a mina. What do we do now?
First, we could say that this “mina” from Jesus begins with the gospel message.
The gospel message is this: Everyone who has ever lived has sinned against a holy God. Everyone therefore needs to be rescued. We need salvation. That rescue comes only through Jesus Christ, God’s Savior sent from heaven.
We either believe in the Savior or we reject him. There is no middle ground.
So we could say that the “mina” begins with this: What will I do with Jesus?
If we reject him, then we are warned that a day of wrath is coming. A day of “slaughter” (as in vs. 27). That will be the worst day of your life.
If we believe in him, we rejoice! And then serve him the rest of our lives, for we a day of reward is coming when he will say, “Well done! Well done!” That will be the best day of our lives.
So first, what have we done with our mina of the gospel message? Have we rejected Jesus the King, or have we received him and believed?
Second, once we have believed, he calls us to walk with him.
“Engage in his business until he comes.”
To do the work of a Christ-follower until he comes to earth again. WHY? To please the King and honor him. And to receive a very great reward.
Jesus calls us to simply and faithfully use what he has given us. We don’t need to overthink this. Some of us constantly worry and fret if we’re doing enough and doing the right thing.
Yet we do need to think. To consider.
Let me offer two very practical steps:
FIRST, memorize a verse or two about your reward.
Like vs. 17:
‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
We want to have promises like this on our hearts, that the Coming King is a very generous rewarder. He is NOT stingy. He is NOT hard to please.
Memorize some Scripture so that you remember what is important and why. To remember that a day is coming soon when the King returns, and all things will be made right.
SECOND, let’s break this down to a daily focus: What should I do TODAY to engage in Jesus’ business until he comes back? Sometimes we think about “What is God’s will” only in the BIG things: Where should I live? What job should I take? Whom should I marry?”
Let’s break it down to the simplest level: “Lord, what would you have me do for you today?” How can I serve you this morning? What is the “mina” you have for me tonight at home?
Here’s a suggestion. Each morning…
- We begin our day by worshiping him.
- We give thanks to him.
- Then pray this every morning before the day gets rolling too fast: “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Every morning pray, “Lord, may your will be done in my life and in my day and in my relationships and in my attitudes …. just as your will is done in heaven. Completely. Thoroughly. Joyfully.”
“Lord, help me to live that way today. I yield my heart to you today. You are Lord of my life, and I am not. Lead me. Guide me. Do with me as you wish.”
- What is his will for me in my home?
Clearly, I am to love my wife. Ephesians 5. I ask for God’s will to be done as I love and serve and care for my wife. Not MY will, but God’s.
- What is his will in my job? (Pastor. Stay-at-home mom. Student. Engineer.)
According to Colossians 3:23-24, I am to serve at my job with all my heart as if Jesus is my Boss. I am to work hard. To work with integrity. With joy. With love toward my co-workers.
- What’s his will in my character and behavior?
It’s his will for me to be humble today. It’s his will to weep with those who weep. It’s his will to pray for others. It’s his will to care about the condition of my neighbors’ soul.
As we do such things on a daily basis, I believe we are “engaging in the King’s business until he comes back.”
As we live this life by faith, we can anticipate with confidence that he notices all our deeds of faith and that he will greatly reward and honor us someday very soon. And that he will say with joy and pleasure, “‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ That will be the best day of our lives.
Luke 19:28-40 Triumphal Entry
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,
30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ”
32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.
33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”
35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,
38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
The final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry is beginning. He is entering into Jerusalem, and the rest of Luke’s Gospel is devoted to just these last 7 days.
It’s remarkable that Luke devotes more than 6 chapters to the final week, which shows the importance of it. In fact, if you look at all 4 Gospel accounts, they devote ~35% to this final week.
In this story, Jesus’ followers gather together and worship him in a beautiful way. The disciples put their cloaks on the colt and set Jesus on it. They then spread their cloaks on the ground. The other Gospels speak also of palm branches, which is why we call this “Palm Sunday.”
“The whole multitude of his disciples” are recognizing that he is the long-awaited Messiah, descended from David.
They are acknowledging the mighty works he has done. The miracles. The astonishing teachings. His unparalleled authority.
They have no shame and no reservations in worshiping him with a loud voice. This is not mere polite applause. They are cheering. Shouting.
But then, lest we think everyone loves Jesus, the Jewish leaders speak up in a startling contrast to the disciples. Once again, they reveal their hatred of Jesus. “Tell you disciples to shut up.”
But as usual, Jesus doesn’t back down and instead answers with great insight and truth. “Even if they did shut up, the rocks would cry out praise to God.”
God is so glorious and mighty and wonderful that even if we all do not praise him, creation cannot help itself. How shameful for us if we do not praise our Maker but rocks do!
I am reminded of Psalm 98.
Psalm 98:7–9 ESV
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
God will be praised, whether we do or not. All of his creation knows that. Romans 8 tells us that all creation is under a curse and is longing—groaning— to be released from the curse at the Second Coming of Christ when He restores all things.
This day, this Palm Sunday, is a day of great praise from his followers. In great contrast, five days later on Friday, Jesus will be dead. Cursed by those whom he created. Rejected by the ones he came to rescue. Abandoned by his close friends.
But for now on this Sunday, Jesus receives the praise and worship that is due him as his names and titles declare.
Immanuel—God with us. Near us. Calling us to himself.
The Light of the World casting off the darkness in our lives.
The Living Water to quench our thirsty souls.
The Bread of Life to satisfy our deepest hunger.
The Savior of the world… come to deliver us from the wrath of God.
May everyone praise him. May no one doubt him or reject him.
Here is one simple application this morning.
Let us worship Jesus with great expression.
With no inhibitions. No shame. No fear. The multitude of his disciples rejoiced and praised God with a loud voice. With all their hearts they celebrated Jesus Christ.
O that we would be so enamored by our King that we would SING and SHOUT with all our hearts. We would clap for him. Cheer for him. With no inhibitions.
Psalm 145 says it so well. Note God’s qualities and actions and our response.
Psalm 145:4–7 (NIV)
4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
When we gather on Sundays, may we continue to learn to celebrate God with more passion, just as he deserves.
Sometimes we’re concerned about faking it. We may not feel all excited about God at the moment, so we don’t want to be hypocrites. I get that. But maybe if we celebrated with our voices and hands, our hearts and minds would catch up!
Sometimes we’re simply worried about what others think. “If I raise my hands or sing off key, I’ll be embarrassed.”
When we are this way, it is because our view of people is BIG and our view of God is SMALL.
But if we have that in proper order—that God is BIG and people are SMALL—we won’t give in to fearing the opinions of others.
If I raise my hands, am I going to look weird to you all? Maybe. But I won’t look weird to God!
Let us learn to praise Jesus with great expression. And may we not let ROCKS out-praise us!
We’ll read two scenes
We now move from this glorious praise of King Jesus to a grieving, tearful moment.
Luke 19:41–44 (ESV)
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Luke 19:45–48 (ESV)
45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,
46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him,
48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
I will focus on the first scene where Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem. What a marvelous even shocking moment.
He is weeping with compassion and tenderness toward the people of Jerusalem. As the Son of God with prophetic insights, he knows that God’s judgment is going to come down on this city in the not-so-distant future. Jerusalem will be destroyed by the Roman government in 70 A.D., 40 years in the future.
Why? God’s judgment on them for their rejection of the long-awaited Messiah. Vs. 42 They didn’t know the things that make for peace. Their eyes were blinded to their King and Messiah.
Vs. 44 They didn’t know the day of their visitation, these times when the Son of God visited the people of Israel with his message of salvation. Largely, the Jews in Jerusalem rejected him. Yes, a small number did believe in him and followed him, such as the Twelve Disciples and the crowds that were worshiping him with palm branches just minutes before.
What is so astonishing to me is not merely that he wept. It’s that he wept for a people who hated him so much, and in just 5 days there were going to rally as a mob, shouting, “CRUCIFY! CRUCIFY!” He wept with compassion for the very people who wanted him dead. He wept for the Jewish leaders who so stubbornly had fought against him the past 3 years.
Jesus’ compassion is shocking to me. Such extraordinary compassion! The God of justice is also the God of mercy and grace. The God of great tenderness.
May we remember the tender mercy of our great God. May we believe it and not doubt.
May we remember it in two ways.
- First, towards ourselves.
If Jesus was that compassionate—even weeping—over the people who hated him and wanted him dead, SURELY he has compassion over us.
We need to remember this when hard things happen, and we feel beaten down by life.
And we need to remember this when we sin, and feel a weight of guilt and shame.
Hebrews 4:16 NIV Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
When is our time of need?
- When life has beaten us down.
- When our own sin has beaten us down.
We need to believe the gospel, that Jesus’ love and compassion is so deep that it covers over our greatest moments of sin and failure.
Wednesday was not a good day for me walking in holiness. I had a very short night of sleep, and I struggled to be filled with the Spirit. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was irritable. I had to confess to my wife and seek her forgiveness.
The next morning I had to battle in faith for 30 minutes in prayer to believe the gospel…to believe I was forgiven, that the Lord loves me, that I could run to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. My need on Thursday morning was great.
Sometimes we can get discouraged at our own sins. We are tempted to feel hopeless. Unforgiveable. We’re sure we’re lost causes.
But here in Luke 19, the Lord’s tears of compassion for a city that has rejected him is stunning.
May we kill our pride, humble ourselves, and simply believe he is a compassionate Savior.
So first, we believe he is compassionate towards us.
- Second, may we remember his compassion towards others.
Jesus is patient and kind with others, even his enemies who will kill him.. SO WE MUST BE COMPASSIONATE to those whom God is compassionate. We can get annoyed at other’s sins. Even disgusted. “All those sinners out there!!” People who have genuinely hurt us. Sinned against us.
So let’s consider for a moment: Is there someone you are angry with right now? Someone who has hurt you? Someone you have not forgiven nor shown compassion to?
As the Lord has shown grace to us and released us from our debt, so we are commanded to show compassion to others.
Ephesians 4:32 NIV Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We are kind, compassionate, and forgiving because God has been that way to us through his Son.
If we are struggling to show such kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, one very likely reason is that we under-value what God has done for us. We might be tempted to say, “Oh sure, God has been kind to me. But this person who hurt me— this is too much!”
The Apostle Paul does not write this as merely a good idea. This is not a suggestion. This is not some nice quote from a self-help book. Paul wrote this as from the hand of God as a command to us to not forget. To not be ungrateful. To not be near-sighted. But to remember the kindness, compassion, and forgiveness God has shown us in Christ. And then to show compassion and mercy to others.
So every day, let us consider the tender mercy of our God, shown to us in this beautiful moment as Jesus weeps for the city who is five days away from murdering him. That is his compassion towards you.
Let’s bring this to a close.
Our Savior is stunning. I have been reading the Gospels for 40 years, and yet so often I’m still amazed by Jesus. His power. His miracles. His wisdom. His love. The death he endured. The resurrection he experienced.
Our God is a great Savior. May we trust him and love him as he so richly deserves.