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Preparing for the King’s Return: The Faithful Steward (Luke 19:11-27)

Luke 19:11–27 - 11 While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13 “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ 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, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. 16 “The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ 18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ 19 “And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 “Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 ‘Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 “And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ 26 “I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27 “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Jesus shares a parable to address expectations that God's kingdom would materialize right away (v. 11). He illustrates a nobleman who goes to receive a kingdom but first gives ten servants one mina each to invest until he returns (vv. 12-13). However, his subjects hated him and opposed his rule (v. 14). Upon securing kingship and returning home, the nobleman evaluates the servants' stewardship (v. 15). One gained ten more minas through trading, so the nobleman assigns him authority over ten cities (vv. 16-17). Another gained five more minas, so he will govern five cities (v. 18). But a third servant who hid the money and did nothing with it has it taken for unfaithfulness (vv. 20-24). Further, the nobleman orders the execution of enemies who rejected him (v. 27). Jesus uses this parable to underscore perspectives for living in anticipation of His return to establish eternal Kingdom reign. How can I apply Luke 19:11-27 to my life? As Jesus nears Jerusalem in His last week before the cross, He uses a parable depicting a nobleman’s temporary absence and dramatic return to spotlight vital perspectives for His followers awaiting a coming King. His dramatic Passion week events would soon inaugurate the new. And one day, the King of kings would bodily return establishing unhindered sovereignty over all. So, with judgment and reward imminent for saints and sinners alike, Christ spotlights principles to shape our priorities going forward. May we take this sobering parable to heart - evaluating if we are walking in readiness while there is still time. Do we see ourselves as aliens or guests on a brief mission awaiting our true home? Do daily choices reflect anticipation of giving account to the Master? As stewards, are we leveraging Kingdom gifts to bear spiritual fruit that ripens for harvest? Jesus’ unchanging truth cuts through wayward cultural trends and refocuses our vision on obedience that counts for eternity. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Be a Faithful Steward of What Jesus Has Entrusted to You in Anticipation of His Return (vv. 12-16): As Jesus tells this parable before going to Jerusalem for Passion Week, He spotlights a nobleman who entrusts resources to his servants while away expecting to return as king. Similarly, Christ has endowed believers with spiritual gifts and opportunities for Kingdom impact in this season before His return in full authority. Walking in readiness means responsibly leveraging such divine apportionments. With expectant dependency on the Spirit’s empowerment, diligently apply your capabilities to produce spiritual yields for the Master until He comes. Jesus highlights the vital call for integrity, intentionality, and wisdom in stewarding opportunities He allots His people. Are you actively bearing Kingdom fruit in the spheres of influence He has planted you in? Take inventory of the time, abilities, and positions He has entrusted you with. Consistently operate by eternal priorities - filtering decisions through the lens of His pending return and the accountability that awaits. With prayerful dependence, take divinely prompted risks to increase yields that will outlast this fading world (2 Peter 1:3-11, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

Food for thought: What has God called and gifted you to do for Kingdom advancement? How can you increasingly leverage these in support of Gospel witness before Christ returns? Are any areas of your management calling for realignment with Kingdom priorities in light of Jesus’ impending return?

  1. Faithful Stewardship Leads to Greater Kingdom Responsibilities (vv. 17-19): As Jesus concludes the parable, He spotlights the nobleman’s faithful servant who multiplied the mina entrusted him - highlighting how his stewardship led to greater delegation of cities to govern. Our Master likewise notices and rewards wholehearted devotion that bears much spiritual fruit over time. As we walk in obedience and surrender to His Lordship, He expands our capacity and apportions greater Kingdom assignments. With continued reliance on divine empowerment, we take hold of opened doors before us. Commit yourself fully to the Master’s business at hand - whether prominent or unseen. God delights to entrust greater influence to faith-filled stewards who handle lesser duties with care. Nurture diligence to develop and share talents that aim for His glory. Where He guides, He provides - giving His Spirit without limits to equip humble vessels ready for enlarged opportunities (Matthew 25:21; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 3:20; Acts 6:3).

Food for thought: Are you seeing God expand your Kingdom responsibilities as you walk in surrendered obedience to Him? What step of faith might He be prompting to increase your capacity for Gospel impact?

  1. Faithless Rejection of Christ Leads to Judgment (vv. 20-27): Transitioning from the two faithful servants, Jesus turns to the third who hid his mina - highlighting the grave implications of hardening one’s heart against the King. Just as the nobleman ordered the execution of defiant rebels who rejected him, so Jesus warns of Divine wrath awaiting those who spurn God’s Son and pursue their own paths. The day is fast approaching when Christ will defeat all rivals and close the narrow way to salvation. May this reality compel our intercession and proclamation of the Gospel while there is still time. But if we shrink back through unbelief or halfhearted religion devoid of spiritual fruits, eternity hangs in the balance. There are ultimately two camps - the redeemed who love and exalt Christ, and those who rebel. The Judge of all stands ready to separate the wheat and tares. Do not risk the peril of squandering the most valuable treasure. Earnestly contend for souls bound for endless joy or endless ruin (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, Mark 16:16, Mark 8:34-38).

Food for thought: Have you counted the eternal cost of rejecting Christ? Are you walking in wholehearted devotion to the King and alert watchfulness for His sudden appearing? What might God be highlighting to prune away so your heart burns for Him alone? As Christ's followers, we must take up His charge to bear Kingdom fruit with urgency until He returns. Through the grace He freely supplies, we are to steward entrusted gifts and opportunities with integrity - living on mission to multiply disciples to the glory of God. We should run with perseverance and vigilance against distraction with our eyes fixed on the finish line of Christ's coming. The Master should find us doing His business when He appears - having walked in obedience by the Spirit's enablement regardless of earthly position. Eagerly expecting our King, His priorities should reign now even amidst opposition as we proclaim the good news of the Gospel. And we should always lift high the matchless name of Jesus as we anticipate His glorious return. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would realign my daily priorities and management around readiness for Jesus' imminent return. Help me walk as a faithful steward - leveraging all You have entrusted me with for reaping eternal dividends for Your Kingdom. Burn within my soul undivided devotion to lift the banner of Christ as King. Give me wisdom and discernment to walk in obedience even when my human reasoning does not understand. Expand my capacity to proclaim salvation before the day of grace closes. Use my life to impact many for eternity. I pray urgency would mark my days as I live on mission with You until You burst the stars once and for all! I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 19:26 - “I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby          

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