Title: The Parable of the Ten Pounds
Date: March 13, 2007
Text: Luke 19:11-27
- The triumphal entry into Jerusalem is about to happen.
- Jesus has left Jericho behind and is on the road to Jerusalem and is now approaching the city.
- When Herod the Great died, he left his reign in the hands of three people: Philip, Herod and Archelaus.
- Archelaus was to rule over Judea.
- There were a group of Jews that did not want Archelaus to rule because of his wickedness, ego, etc.
- Before Archelaus could take the throne, he had to be confirmed in Rome by Caesar that it was his right to rule in Judah, so he had to make a trip to Rome - 4 BC.
- There was a group of Jews that went to Rome to see Caesar to complain about Archelaus.
- Caesar let Archelaus go ahead and take his throne and when Archelaus went back to Judah, he killed all those who had complained.
- He reigned in Judea from 4 BC to 18 AD
- That is the historical background of this story.
1. Purpose of the Parable - verse 11
- people thought Jesus was the Messiah and that he was about to become king
- the Archelaus story was still fresh in people's minds, so Jesus bases his parable on this historical event
- his reign as Messiah was not immediate but would be delayed for some time
- the delay means an interval of time, so the question is, what happens during that period?
- the purpose of the parable is to refocus people's thinking away from an immediate kingdom, and more onto how they need to be living in the meantime until the king returns
2. What do the pounds represent?
- there are various measures referred to as pounds or minas, so it is hard to quantify exactly how much these pounds were worth in today's money
- my Bible margin notes that the mina weighed 12.5 ounces of silver - today's price of silver is $12.95 per ounce, so on that basis the mina may have been worth $160 in today's money
- it was enough to be able to do something with, but not a vast fortune by any means
- this agrees with verse 17 where the mina is described as being very little
- the reward that the nobleman gives for wisely using the silver, is out of all proportion to the value of the original mina
- the 10 servants all received an equal amount with which to work
- each servant, however, varied in how much they had accomplished in developing this investment
- so what does this mina represent?
- when we came to Jesus, each of us has been given the Holy Spirit, with the fruits of the Spirit as well as spiritual gifts
- we all receive a down payment of the Holy Spirit, a promise of more to come in the future when we receive our inheritance
- Eph 1:14 - the Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance, a guarantee - we are all the same in this
- in that sense we all receive the same investment over which to be stewards
- the question is, how have we done with developing and using the gift of the holy Spirit in our lives?
- how have we used these gifts to develop in our ability to serve in the kingdom?
- one day the king will return and will ask how we have done in using the spiritual gifts God has given us.
3. The king will return - verse 15
- Jesus will return, there is no doubt about that
- when he returns, there will be an accounting of how we have used the gifts he has given us
- one person will have grown enormously, and he will be rewarded accordingly
- another person may not have done all that much in developing his gifts, and he also will be rewarded according to the effort he has put into his Christian walk
- we are all going to appear before the Bema judgment seat of Christ
- 2 Cor 5:10
- this is not a place where we will be told we are going to heaven or hell - that is decided when we accept Jesus into our life
- instead, this is a place where we will be rewarded for how we have developed in using the gifts God has given us
- this reward will be out of all proportion to what we have been given to work with
- in the parable, for having dealt wisely with $160 we receive rulership over 10 or 5 cities!
- we don't know exactly what God has planned for us when he returns and it is not spelled out exactly in scripture
- but I am sure we will be surprised at God's generosity!
- some people will have done little or nothing in developing their kingdom potential
- God says their gifts will be given to others to develop
- it does not mean they will not be in the kingdom with Jesus - they will be there, thanks to the blood of Jesus
- but they will not be rewarded the same as someone who has spent his whole life in the Lord's service, developing in his spiritual walk
4. There will be others who will not be in the kingdom - verse 27
- there is another group of people, who do not want to the Lord to reign over them
- these represent people who refuse to submit to the Lord, and accept Jesus in their life
- God will not force these people to exist forever in some kind of inner struggle, having to submit but rebelling against it inside, for all eternity
- these people have chosen not to want Jesus in their life, so they will be sent to hell and receive the fruits of their choice
- Jesus is returning, and he will return with a kingdom
- when he returns, he will bring a reward with him, which he will give to each of us, depending on how we have grown in using the gifts he has given us
- this will happen at the Bema judgment, when all believers give an account of how they have done with what God has given them
- this is not a judgment of condemnation, but a rewarding of the faithful
- believers will be rewarded according to how open they have been to allowing themselves to be molded by Jesus, and according to how much they have done in using the Holy Spirit for kingdom purposes
- there will however be another judgment, at the end of the Millenneum, when all those who have chosen not to submit to Jesus, will be granted their wish - they will be sent to hell
- this life is the playingfield upon which our eternity is being determined
- what we decide today will affect the rest of our life