What is the most climactic event in the Gospels? It’s only through 20/20 hindsight that you might answer “the crucifixion.” If you lived these events out first hand as a Jew in the time of Jesus, the answer to the question would have to be the “Triumphal Entry.” We’ll read about that event tomorrow. However, Luke sets up Jesus’ parable by informing us that Jesus “was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.”
As Jesus gears up to head to Jerusalem, this is the pinnacle of Messianic expectation. Israel, at this time, was under the heavy yolk of Rome. If you’ll remember the book of Daniel, which prophesies of Rome’s world rule, just like Greece and Persia, through the dream of the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel’s interpretation of the dream, he says,
“44 In the days of those kings [i.e. Rome] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold.” (Daniel 2:44–45)
This prophecy, and others, point to God’s Messiah who will crush world empires and set up a theocratic worldwide kingdom enthroned in Jerusalem (See also Psalm 2). This was the expectation that Luke alludes toward in verse 11. This is also where I refer back to my previous Jumpstart post on February 24th, when I discussed the idea of Already/Not Yet.
The Messiah was entering Jerusalem, but not to set up his worldwide theocratic rule. It was not yet time for the apostles to sit at the right hand of power, which is what they’re so excited about. Instead, it’s time for the Messiah to go pay for sin through spilling his blood on the cross.
Christ came to this “distant country to receive a kingdom for himself” (i.e. Earth). He returned from whence he came after the resurrection and ascension, but he’ll be back. In the parable, when the nobleman returns he wants an accounting of his investment. In the parable in amounts to 10 minas to 10 slaves, in reality, it was an excruciating sacrifice for an infinite debt of sin. Sin is so serious that Christ died for it. No wonder that when the Lord returns his enemies will be slain.
What we have through Christ is much greater than 10 minas. We have freedom from sin and the Holy Spirit as the guarantee. Ephesians 1:13–14 speaks to this, when Christ asks for our accounting ledger upon his return, we will have to ante up. However, what He will see is the Holy Spirit, who is our guarantee (the financial term for the repayment of debt).
Some people have more gifts/talents than others. The Bible states clearly, we’re not to be jealous of one another. However, we’ve all received an infinite gift through the Holy Spirit. How are you currently investing, through the power of the Holy Spirit? Are you as faithful in your investment as the first slave, or are you keeping the power of the Holy Spirit to yourself by never stepping out in faith? The Holy Spirit wasn’t given to you for your hidden handkerchief, if you think your salvation should only benefit you, “By your own words [Christ] will judge you, you worthless slave.”
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate