What About Heavenly Rewards?
Explore the Bible Series
Background Passage: Luke 19:1-48
Lesson Passage: Luke 19:12-27
Introduction: Shortly after the Lordís retirement to the home of Zacchaeus, Jesus proposed a parable for the consideration of his hearers.† Perhaps the moving generosity of the repentant tax collector prompted the Lord to address his audience in this manner.† Zacchaeus, rich in the worldís attainments, discovered a new kind of ďwealth.Ē† His reward, so he discovered, was the approval of his blessed Master.
I. The Occasion of the Parable of the Minas (Luke )
relation to the previous verses:† The
opening words of verse eleven continue the narrative of events that occurred in
misunderstanding of Jesusí followers:†
Luke made clear that some of Christís followers misunderstood the Lordís
intent.† Apparently, they believed that
he intended to establish an earthly empire when he reached
II. The Nobleman and his Servants (Luke )
A. The nobleman, of course, represents the Lord Jesus.† This distinguished landowner planned to leave his present location and go to a distant country to receive a kingdom.† Though he eventually planned to return, the noblemanís journey would take him far away from his servants and require a great period of time for travel.† He would not return soon.† In the meantime, the Master gave the servants a certain stewardship.† Each servant was entrusted with a sum of money, a mina.† This was a substantial amount of money equaling approximately three months wages for a working man.† They had one, simple directive, ďDo business till I come.Ē† The master commanded them to seize the opportunity he had graciously given them.
Illustration:† This story seems reminiscent of the
Exodus.† The Lord gave great gifts and
clear directions to his people that they should, at the appropriate time, seize
B. The ten servants symbolize the Lordís people.† The text describes them as servants (slaves), but these servants enjoyed the great bounty and kindness of their sovereign.† He entrusted them with a handsome sum of money, and they were to utilize their provision with the expectation that they would give an account of their stewardship when the master returned.
III. The Noblemanís Enemies (Luke )
A. The citizens hated the master, not the servants.† The text makes clear that the citizens aimed their venomous remarks at the nobleman himself.† They hated the master, and they determined that they would not acknowledge this manís reign over them.† The citizensí distain for the servants was derived from their disregard for the nobleman.† Christians often experience the loathing of the enemies of the gospel; yet, saints must remember that ultimately their enemies do not hate them; rather, they detest the Savior and all he represents.†
B. The noblemanís absence seemed to embolden the citizens.† They grew brazen in their rebellion only after the master had left for his journey.† While he remained in their country, their rebellion seethed, no doubt, under the surface, but when the good man departed for a sojourn in a far country, they grew brave in their assertion that they would not recognize his governance. Rebels are often cowards.†
IV. The Faithful Stewards (Luke -19)
A. The master, just as he promised, returned from his journey and required that his servants give an account of their labors.† Notice that he returned ďhaving received his kingdom.Ē† A majestic, royal glory attended his second appearance in the parable.† This verse anticipates the glorious return of Christ.† Once, the world saw him gentle and lowly; however, when he comes again, all the inhabitants of the earth will observe his splendor, the splendor of a King.
B. The faithful stewards seemed joyfully to anticipate the masterís return.† We find no reluctance in their approach to the Lord.† Their accounts of faithful labor do not seem arrogant of self-promoting; rather, they give a straightforward description of their activities. As reward for their selfless labors in the masterís interests, each faithful servant received a generous gift and greater stewardship.† Faithfulness in ďlittle thingsĒ brought greater blessing and responsibility (See Matthew 25:21).
V. The Unfaithful Servant (Luke -24)
A. One of the servants appeared before his master, but he had nothing to show for the opportunity the nobleman had afforded him.† Instead, the unfaithful man simply returned what had been entrusted to his care.†
B. Verse twenty one reveals the motive for this manís unfaithful and disgraceful behavior.† He held hard and unworthy views of his master.† He claimed that the nobleman was an austere, severe man; therefore, in fear of his masterís disapproval, the lazy servant hid the money in a handkerchief. Note: ďThe heart of the unconverted man is figured in a very striking manner in this expression.† Like Adam and Eve, when they had eaten the forbidden fruit, he is afraid of his Master in heaven, and does not love him.† Like the murmuring Israelites in the wilderness, he finds fault with Godís appointments and dealings, and charges him with hardness and injusticeÖ Hard thoughts of God are a common mark of all unconverted people.† They first misrepresent him; then try to excuse themselves for not loving and serving him.Ē††† J.C. Ryle
C. The master responded by taking the stewardís money and giving it to a faithful man (v. 24). The good steward received even more blessing as a reward for his service to the master.
D. The masterís dealings with the rebellious citizens (v. 27):† For a moment, it seemed that the Lord had forgotten the seditious citizens; however, the reader soon discovers that the Lord does not overlook such matters.† They, indeed, received the most severe judgment of all.† They met with utter destruction, unmixed with mercy.†
parable teaches the following truths about the