Hosanna means save now!
The crowds were shouting that as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Before he entered the city though, he wanted to clarify something for His followers, so he told a parable. Before we read it I want to reiterate something I have said before, and want to say again. I have heard it said, and I agree that at the root of every conflict in your life is unmet expectations…. I would say that most likely, every disappointment, difficulty, and turmoil in your life can be boiled down to some extent to unmet expectations. Have you ever felt that someone had expectations of you that you could not deliver on? I was thinking about this as we watched the Master’s on Friday. There were crowds of people following these men around with great expectations of what they were going to accomplish that day. Some of them followed through, and some didn’t. We were with one man who didn’t follow through, Phil… Now think how you might feel if you were following someone with certain expectations of what they would do, and then you find out you were very wrong, but it was your own fault because they tried to tell you over and over again. Well, that is what happened to the disciples.
That is the reason Jesus told this parable, he wanted to calibrate the disciple’s expectations of His kingdom. Luke 19:11-27
I love Luke in our text today because he tells us exactly why Jesus tells the parable that he does. It is “Because the disciples supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately”. He needed to make sure their expectations were clear. Now, this wasn’t the first time He had done this, but another instance in a series of times where Jesus told the disciples that He was going to die and be raised again.
So, as was his custom, he tells them a story.
So, in this story you have a nobleman who is going away to inherit a kingdom. This is Jesus speaking of the time of his ascension and His second coming. While He is away, He has instructions for His servants, and three types of people under his rule.
1.Rebellious subjects. They do not respect authority, and reject the nobleman, who like it or not has the authority over them. Jesus is the sovereign of the universe, like it or not. Many people want to kick and Scream and rebel, but truth is truth. The fact of the matter is that those who want nothing to do with Jesus, get exactly what they want. Eternity without Jesus. Since Jesus is upholding the world with the word of His power, as soon as he withdraws that, they will be destroyed. This truth should drive us not to shake our finger at those people, but to examine our own hearts to see where we may be rejecting the rule of Christ in our lives. And to more boldly proclaim the name of Jesus to all we meet.
2. Loyal stewards. They gain a high reward for their investment. They are wise stewards of the resources given to them. They make good use of the time and resources and get to word for their master. They took risks with the resources given to them, and saw the investment grow.
3. The Wicked servant. Takes the resources given to him and hides it out of fear. He doesn’t understand the heart of the master, and may not even know Him. The master says that he will condemn the servant with his own words and basically states that if he was really as severe as this man thinks, he would have at least put it in the bank to earn some interest.
Jesus’ kingdom is not fully realized here on earth. He is away, but He is returning. He has entrusted each of us with talents, gifts, abilities and resources. He expects us to use them for His purpose, not burying them out of fear. But using them to see His name magnified in our lives, and in this community.
So, back to the reason why Jesus told this parable in the first place. Why would them thinking the kingdom coming now need to be corrected by a message about stewardship? Well, if you understand the heart of God, it makes sense. God’s kingdom is not a political body, it wasn’t an earthly kingdom. It is about God drawing a people to himself from every tribe and nation. It wasn’t about isolation, it was, and is about a kingdom that will last forever. That takes work, it takes us pouring out our lives for those around us, and it takes wise stewardship, and sacrifice to see that accomplished. It took Jesus pouring His life out of our behalf for it all to take place…
I want to ask you these questions as we close:
In what ways are you rejecting the rule of Christ in your life?
In what ways can you wisely and boldly use the gifts that God has given you?
In what areas can we as a church boldly and wisely invest the gifts that God has given us?