Kingdom of God and the Parable of Ten Minas

Parable ten Minas
Luke 19.11 – 27
The story goes like this:

Jesus was going to Jerusalem and he was near to it.
The disciples and other gatherings thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
As answer to their expectation, Jesus told them that the King had to go to the emperor and his kingdom.
So he will be absent for a period time.
To explain this truth Jesus said a parable.

A certain nobleman went into a far place to meet the emperor.
His intention was to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
He wanted the emperor to appoint him as the king of the province where he lived.

He was a king and loving master to his servants.
So before he left, he called his ten servants, and entrusted them ten pounds, that is one pound for each.
He said unto them, Occupy till I come (trade till I come).

Meanwhile, in his absence, some of his citizens who hated him, and sent a message after him to the emperor, saying that they did not want that man to reign over them.
But the emperor did not give ear to them.

After a long time, the nobleman returned, having received the kingdom.
So now he is a king over certain area under the mighty emperor.

Then he called those servants to whom he had given the money and asked a detailed account of the money he entrusted with them.
The first servant came and said; “Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.”
The king was happy and said to him, “Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”

The second servant came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
The king was again happy and said to him, “Be thou also over five cities.”

Another one, may be the third or the last servant among the ten servants to whom he gave money came with a drooping head.
He sadly confessed his failure to increase the money.
He said to the king, “Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin. I was afraid of you, because you are severe man. You take up that you laid not down and reap that you didst not sow.

The king was very angry with him.
He said, “Out of your own mouth will I judge you. You are a wicked servant. You knew that I was a severe man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow.
So why did not you give the money to a bank that at my coming I might have taken back my money with interest.
The king said to them that stood by, “Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds.”
He continued declaring his new financial policy, “For I say to you, that to every one which has shall be given more by taking from those who have failed to make a profit in the trade. Even the little that a failed trader has will be taken away from him.”

Then he ordered the massacre of his enemies did not want him to reign over them.

The Study
The story is about the long absence of Jesus from this world.
Jesus was nearing Jerusalem when he was telling the story.
His followers thought that Jesus would establish the Kingdom of God very soon.
Some of his disciples had started to discuss about their seat in the court of the king.

But the Kingdom of God which Jesus announced as near and already came was not of this world.
This mystery was hard for the disciples to understand then.

So he was explaining the mystery through this parable.

A noble man of the land went to the far place, may be the capital city of the empire to receive the kingdom.
The audience of Jesus understood this political situation very well.
All Jewish occupied areas of the time were a part of Roman Empire.
Since Roman Empire was such a vast area, local rulers were appointed as kings by the Roman rulers.

King Herod thus went to Rome and received his kingdom.
After his death, Archelaus, a son of Herod, went to Rome and received his kingdom.
After his death, Agrippa also went to Rome to receive the kingdom.

Herod the Great,  an Idumean (Edomite) and convert to Judaism who ruled from 37–4 bc.
Following the death of his father, Antipater, Herod was made king of Judaea by Rome.

They were appointed as kings over certain geographical area under the Roman Empire.
They had to maintain the relationship between the local area and people with the Roman Empire.

Jesus was also telling the story of such a nobleman who went to a far place, to the capital city of the empire to receive his kingdom.
He might have been a rich and good master.
From the comment made by the last servant while returning the pound he received, it may be assumed that the master was an expert in trading and creating profit as if from nothing.

Luke 19: 20, 21
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
21 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.’

Before he left to meet the empire, he entrusted his wealth to his faithful servants.
He considered them faithful.
None of them stole or ran away with his money
Every one returned the money with profits or without profit.
They, even during his absence considered the money to belong to the master.

Luke 19: 16 - 20
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.

What was the intention of the master by entrusting his wealth to the servants?

1.      Multiply his wealth
He was not particular about trading
He was concerned with multiplying his wealth.

Luke 19: 22, 23
22 “His master replied, ‘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?
23  Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

2.      To choose right persons as governors to towns.

The second intention is revealed as he appoints the faithful and profitable servants as governors to towns under Kingdom.

 During the period of the empire, Roman provinces were administrated in two primary ways:

1.      Older, morestable provinces were controlled by the Roman Senate.
These senatorial provinces were ruled by member of the senate who would be known as “proconsul”.
Most of these senatorial provinces were peaceful and did not have Roman legions stationed on their soil.

2.      Newer and less stable provinces were under the control of the emperor, who was technically considered the governor of each.
These “imperial” provinces had proxy governors appointed by the emperor.
The larger imperial provinces would have a person of senatorial rank as the chief authority, often called an imperial legate.
The term “legate” was tied to the legion(s) in the province that would be under this person’s direct control.

The motivation for the Romans to appoint provincial Kings were:

1.      To maintain peace in the region
2.      To maintain a peaceful relationship with Rome
3.      To raise tax revenues for the empire

This nobleman was using the same method to rule the kingdom assigned to him.
He had the same purpose.

So he offered an opportunity to ten of his faithful servants to earn their towns.

He tested their faithfulness
He tested their expertise as tradesmen.

Why tradesmen?
Because tradesmen knows that:

1.      Only peace can bring prosperity
2.      Tradesmen conquer countries not by war but by trade.

So the nobleman entrusted his wealth with ten of his faithful servants before he left for the capital city for receiving a kingdom.

Jesus spoke this parable to explain the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
He was not going to establish the Kingdom right away.
He had to go to His Father, the Great King to receive His Kingdom.
He would come back afterwards and appoint his faithful servants in charge of cities.

Meanwhile, Jesus wants to multiply his treasure.
So He has entrusted His great share with us.

The great treasure
What is the great treasure Jesus has entrusted us?
The Great Commission includes four things
They are not four separate things, but one and the same.
We cannot take away any one and execute the other.

Mark 16. 15 - 18
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who refuses to believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will expel demons, they will speak in new tongues,
18 they will pick up snakes. And if they drink any deadly poison it will never hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will get well.” (KJV) 
Matthew 28: 18 - 20
18  And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.” (KJV)

1.      Preach the gospel
2.      Baptise those believe
3.      Teach them His commandments
4.      Thus make disciples of Christ

All gospel may be contained in the phrase, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God”

John the Baptist announced it.

Matthew 3. 1, 2
1        Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Judean wilderness
2        and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!”

Jesus proclaimed it

Matthew 4. 12 - 17
12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.
13 And leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
14 in order that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah would be fulfilled, who said,
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, toward the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the ones who sit in the land and shadow of death, a light has dawned on them.”
17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The Kingdom of God includes
Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus
Holy and separated life afterwards
Resurrection of the dead and transform of the living at the second coming of Christ
Inheriting the Everlasting Kingdom of God
And all …

The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the end of the world.

Matthew 24. 3 – 14(Signs of the End of the Age)
3 And as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came up to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and* said to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you!
5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will deceive many.
6 And you are going to hear about wars and rumors of wars. See to it that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you, and you will be hated by all the nations because of my name.
10 And then many will be led into sin and will betray one another and will hate one another,
11 and many false prophets will appear and will deceive many,
12 and because lawlessness will increase, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But the one who endures to the end—this person will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the great treasure Jesus has entrusted us
He has gone to His Father to receive the Kingdom and come back to establish it for ever.

During his absence we have trade with this great treasure
The Kingdom of God has to grow and multiply.

The growing Kingdom
Mark 4. 26 – 29 (The Parable of the Seed that Grows by Itself)
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is like this: like a man scatters seed on the ground.
27 And he sleeps and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he does not know how.
28 By itself the soil produces a crop: first the grass, then the head of grain, then the full grain in the head.
29 But when the crop permits, he sends in the sickle right away, because the harvest has come.”

Mark 4. 30– 34 (The Parable of the Mustard Seed)
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, although it* is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground, 32 but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 And with many parables such as these he was speaking the word to them, as they were able to hear it.* 34 And he did not speak to them without a parable, but in private he explained everything to his own disciples.

Matthew 13. 33 (The Parable of the Yeast)He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and put into three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

How to trade
By Kingdom Living

1.      Proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom
2.      Extending the presence of the kingdom

Proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom

Matthew 10. 5 - 8
5 Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them saying, “Do not go on the road to the Gentiles, and do not enter into a city of the Samaritans,
6 but go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as you are going, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near!’
8 Heal those who are sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, expel demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Extend the presence of the kingdom

Matthew 12. 22 - 28
22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to him. And he healed him so that the man who was mute could speak and see.
23 And all the crowds were amazed and began saying, “Perhaps this one is the Son of David!”
24 But the Pharisees, when they heard it, said, “This man does not expel demons except by Beelzebul the ruler of demons!”
25 But knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
26 And if Satan expels Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27 And if I expel demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons expel them?For this reason they will be your judges!
28 But if I expel demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you!

Matthew 11. 1 –5 (A Question from John the Baptist)
1 And it happened that when Jesus had finished giving orders to his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and to preach in their towns.
2 Now when John heard in prison the deeds of Christ, he sent word by his disciples
3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have good news announced to them.

Professor Jacob Abraham
For positive thoughts for better living,

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