Occupy Till I Come

Luke

Occupy Till I Come

November 2nd, 1958 @ 10:50 AM

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Related Topics: Giving, Kingdom, Stewardship, 1958, Luke
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OCCUPY TILL I COME

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Luke 19

11-2-58    10:50 a.m.

 

 

You are listening to the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the eleven o’clock morning message entitled, also the text, Occupy Till I Come.  In the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Luke, the Third Gospel, you will find the parable in which the title and the text is found.  The nineteenth chapter of Luke begins with the story of our Lord as He enters and passes through Jericho [Luke 19:1].  That is the first verse.  Then in the eleventh verse:

And Jesus spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should appear immediately.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant:  because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man:  thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant.  Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping up that I did not sow:

Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with interest?

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

But those enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

And when He had thus spoken, He went up before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

[Luke 19:11-27]

 

Quite an interesting story and an historical happening; one of the strangest things about it is that Jesus is recounting here an historical incident.  When the wicked King Herod the Great died, our Lord was a little child, four, five, or six years of age, in the land of Egypt, to which land the Spirit had directed Joseph to take the mother and the Child [Matthew 2:13-14].  So when the Child was in the land of Egypt, Herod died [Matthew 2:15].  He was a brutal and murderous sort of an inhuman creature.  He had slain practically all of his family already, and because of a last moment discovery of a plot against him, he changed his will from giving the kingdom to Antipas, Herod Antipas, to giving it to Archelaus, another one of his sons.  So when Herod died, Archelaus made his journey to Rome, to see Augustus Caesar, in order to receive the kingdom from the hands of Augustus.  But there were some partisans who were highly enthusiastic about Herod Antipas, Archelaus’ brother, son of Herod the Great.  So they sent a deputation of Jewish citizens to Rome, to appear before Augustus to inveigh against the kingdom being delivered into the hands of Archelaus.  Augustus decided to uphold the will of Herod the Great, who had bequeathed the kingdom to Archelaus, but instead of giving him all the kingdom, why, he divided it:  he gave Archelaus Judea, and called him an ethnarch; then he gave Perea, on the other side of the Jordan, and Galilee, to Herod Antipas.  So Archelaus comes back with the kingdom of Judea, and the first thing he did was to administer retribution to these deputations who’d gone to Augustus to inveigh against the kingdom being delivered to him, Archelaus, and had them slain before him.  Now that is an historical incident.  And Jesus takes that story, and uses it; it was current, everyone to whom He had spoken knew of it, and He uses it for a very deep, significant, spiritual revelation.

He is on his way up to Jerusalem.  When He arrived in Jerusalem, you have the story of the triumphant royal entry, with palm branches, with their clothing laid on the street for Him to be borne over as the King of the Jews [Matthew 21:8-9].  The great covenant day of Jewish history had come, and the promised Messiah was presented.  It was a glorious hour, and it was fraught with highest enthusiasm; patriotism was running at its highest tide.  "If these should hold their peace," said our Lord, "the very stones would cry out" [Luke 19:40].  It was in the air, it was electric, it was everywhere.  The kingdom of God had come; it was immediately to appear.  And the disciples, of course, were very much in favor of a program like that.  They were already quarreling over who would be prime minister and sit next to His right hand, and who would be chancellor of the exchequer and sit on His left hand [Mark 10:37]; and they were full of marvelous optimistic hope.  "Right now, right now, the kingdom appears; the Roman yoke will be broken, the Messiah will be accepted, Jesus will reign as King forever, and we will reign with our Lord."

Well, that fever, that patriotism, that tempo was rising furiously and feverishly.  Right in the midst of that now, making that journey from Jericho up to Jerusalem, at which time He made the royal entry into Jerusalem – right in the midst of that, "Jesus spake this parable unto them, because He was nigh to Jerusalem" [Luke 19:11], and knew what would happen there.  Beyond that royal entry was a cross; "because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear" [Luke 19:11].  What the Lord is saying in this parable is that there will be an interlude; there will be a postponement of the kingdom of our Lord.  It will not come immediately; but the King is going away into a far country [Luke 19:12].  He will come back, but there is to be a long intermission.  The kingdom of God is to be postponed.  And that intermission we call this age in which we live – the church age, the age of grace, the age of the Holy Spirit [Acts 1:5].

Paul describes it in the third chapter of the Book of Ephesians.  It was hid from the prophetic vision; it was a secret, called a mystery, kept in the heart of God, waiting to be revealed at the time appointed – which time was, to the apostles and to the disciples of Jesus [Ephesians 3:3-6].  This is to be an age when the gospel is offered to all men.  Even a Gentile can become a fellow heir in the household of faith; he can become an Israelite, of Abraham, born of faith of the seed of the Spirit of God.  This is a day when all men everywhere are welcome into the loving fellowship of Christ our Savior.  This is an age of grace.  But it has a limit, it has a consummation, it has a time.  The Lord has gone away into a far away place to receive a kingdom; and there is a time coming when He returns, and then shall arrive, shall press upon us, rapidly, one after another, quickly, suddenly, the great consummating events of the interposition of God, the final interposition of God in human history [2 Thessalonians 2:7-8].

Now the purpose of the parable was to teach that the kingdom of God would not come immediately, but that the King was to go away into a far away place, and there receive the kingdom and return as Lord and Ruler of all God’s heritage.  Then the Lord did something else:  He not only spake of the intermission; the kingdom is not to come immediately, but the King is to go away and return, and it is to come at some other day, at some other time, in an hour known to God [Luke 19:12].  That’s why you pray, "Thy kingdom come" [Matthew 6:10] – may the Lord haste the day when He will visibly, personally, walk among us and reign over us [Isaiah 9:6-7].  But in the meantime, our Lord gave a story, gave a parable of an assignment, of a stewardship while He is gone.  While our Lord is away, He has His servants here to whom He hath bequeathed a heritage. 

"A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.  And he called his ten servants" – that’s a type, a picture, a number representing all of us.  "And he called his servants," us, "and he delivered them each one a pound" [Luke 19:12-13].  All of us share in the responsibility of the kingdom program, of the gospel of the Son of God, of the life that we live in this age and in this time.  "And he said unto them, Occupy, keep, use what I give you, until I come" [Luke 19:13].  So I learn from that that what is given us is not our own, but we use it; it belongs to Him.  It is God’s land, not ours; we use it for a while.  It is God’s sunshine, it is not ours; it blesses us for a while.  It is God’s air that we breathe; we use it for a while.  It is God’s time in which we live; we are allotted it for a while.  But in no sense, and in nowise, and in no category, could a man ever stand up and be able to say, "It is mine."  It is not his; it is taken from Him, he uses it for the while: "Occupy till I come" [Luke 19:13].

Now the Lord has a purpose in delivering to us that stewardship.  "And it came to pass, when he came back, he called those servants before him; and the first one came, saying, Lord, this stewardship you gave to me hath gained ten times."  Being an English translation here, they use the word "pounds," an English pound.  It’s gained ten times.  "And he said unto him, Well: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.  And the second came, Lord, I have gained five times.  And he said to him, Well, good: be thou also over five cities" [Luke 19:15-19].

Now I learn from that that the kingdom of God has not only an outward appearance, but it also has an inward organization.  What is the kingdom of God like when it shall appear, when we shall look upon it?  It shall look like a gleaming city; its foundations are gem-studded, its gates are of solid pearl, its streets are of pure gold, it has an outward appearance; we shall see it [Revelation 21:19-21].  It shall glisten, and glitter, and gleam, and glow in God’s presence, in the light of His countenance.  It shall be visible, and we shall live in it and rejoice in its fellowship forever [Revelation 21:2-3].  But it also has an organization.  The kingdom of God is more than a shining city; it is also a redeemed society.  It is a social organization for God’s saved, born again people.  There are some who have authority over ten cities.  There are some who have authority over five cities [Luke 19:16-19].  There are gradations in it.  We are going to live in a redeemed and organized social order.

Now, in preparation for that social order, our Lord is now giving us an opportunity to display our faithfulness and our loyalty in our stewardship, in what God hath committed to us.  Now we’re all on an equal footing before God, all of us.  The humblest among us, the ablest among us, all of us in that stewardship are equal before Him.  I think now of a young fellow who has grown to young manhood, and he is handicapped; but he does his best for the Lord.  He’s such a faithful young fellow.  I also have in mind, as I think now, a very gifted minister of Christ, educated, scholarly, eloquent, with a great influence.  In God’s sight and in God’s mind, both of them in their stewardship stand before the Lord alike.  That handicapped young man, with his stuttering and his crippled body, that young fellow has a certain amount committed to him, for which he is responsible.  He is not responsible like that brilliant, educated, eloquent minister whom I am thinking of.  Both of them are committed a stewardship, and both of them are responsible alike for what they have.  Now, one can be as faithful as the other; for the reward is not based upon how much God gave us.  Do you see that?  God makes us all the same in what we are to be responsible for; we’re all alike.  That boy is responsible for this; this eloquent man is responsible for that.  But before God, they stand alike; for each one is to be responsible for what God hath given him.  Whatever it is, we’re all alike before the Lord in that responsibility.  Now what the Lord asks of the boy who is not able and the minister who is so gifted – what God asks of them is a wonderful faithfulness, and a marvelous loyalty.  And God chooses our status in the world that is to come on the basis of that faithfulness and that loyalty.

Here is a man who was wonderfully faithful, gloriously so.  What God gave him; he made it count ten times for the Lord.  Now what God gave him might have been a very little, what God gave him might have been a little more, but that’s not the point.  What God is saying is that he was wonderfully faithful. "Because thou has been faithful in a very little, I will give thee authority over ten cities" [Luke 19:16-17].  Then the next one, "Because," same thing, "Because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt be given authority over five cities" [Luke 19:18-19].  It was a reward based upon how we use what God gave us.

Now may I pause to say here, God doesn’t need anything that we have.  Sometimes we have the persuasion that we’re complimenting God by dedicating to Him thus and so, that we’re favoring the Lord.  Oh, how futile and vain, and how ridiculous a persuasion!  God doesn’t need anything that we have.  "The silver and the gold is Mine [Haggai 2:8], and the cattle on a thousand hills [Psalm 50:10].  If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the earth is Mine, and the fullness thereof" [Psalm 50:12].  Did you ever look closely at the Levitical sacrificial system?  Most of what the Jew brought to his God was wholly burned up by fire; but it had to be the best of the flock or of the herd; even though it were burned up by fire, it was a whole burnt offering [Leviticus 1:3-17, 6:8-13].  If you think that the purpose of the Levitical system was to compliment God and enrich God, you’ve missed it altogether.  It was burned up, most of it.  The great purpose of God in this interim of time is not that we enrich the Lord; the purpose of God is that we be faithful stewards in doing His kingdom work in this earth!  That’s why God has committed it to our care, and He will reward us according to that devout, humble, wonderful faithfulness.

God is trying – let me say it like this:  the Lord’s program is not an emergency measure to keep the wolf from the door, but it is a spiritual program to grant unto His sheep growth in every grace, that we might grow to be tall and strong in the love and patience and kingdom of our Christ Jesus.  God doesn’t present this stewardship as an emergency way in order to tide over His kingdom against the rough day and a bad day, no, it has nothing of that in it.  You won’t find in that Book anything about schemes and methods for raising money as such.  What you find there is a whole system, sixteen parables out of thirty-eight, one verse out of every six in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, about our stewardship: "Occupy till I come" [Luke 19:13].

Could I illustrate it like this?  There was a farmer who had six boys, and he worked them hard on the farm.  And one day a neighbor said to him, he said, "Listen, John, you don’t have to work those boys that hard in order to raise a crop."  And John replied, "Neighbor, I’m not raising a crop, I’m raising boys!"  Now that’s it exactly.  Don’t ever we think, "I’m enriching God.  I’m dedicating to God these gifts in order that He might have something and wherewithal to carry on His work."  Oh no!  The Lord could do it without it.  He could have His angels preach the gospel; He doesn’t need us in any way or in any thing.  But it pleased God, in His mercy and in His goodness, to let us have the stewardship of all that He has made.  The sunshine is ours, the air is ours, and the earth is ours, and some of the substance of this earth, a little of it, and the time is ours, the opportunity is ours, and God lets us accrue to ourselves an eternal interest by using it for Him.  "Occupy till I come; use it till I return."

Now there are two ways, there are two things here: one here, and one hereafter.  First, the here:  when our citizens of the kingdom use what God has given them well, everybody prospers, and everything is glad and happy in the house of the Lord.  When our hearts overflow with generosity, don’t you ever forget it: heaven is going to overflow with blessings; "The windows of heaven will be opened, and there will not be room enough to receive it" [Malachi 3:10].  When God’s church and God’s people are wonderfully, wonderfully given to the things of the kingdom of Jesus, and there is love and gratitude and generosity on the part of every member of God’s household, you will find a church that is vibrant, and alive, and active, and aware.  Jesus dwells, walks among it, the Spirit is in it.  It’s not a decadent church, it’s not decaying, it’s not dead, it’s not miserly, it’s not grasping; it’s a great church, full of people who are faithful in their stewardship to God.  That’s what it is here: a gladsome, wonderful thing here.  I don’t know of anything more despicable than tight-fisted citizens of the kingdom of our Lord.  Oh, they hurt everything!  But generous-hearted citizens who look upon all that they have as God’s, "This, that God hath given me is just something I can use for Him until He comes," what a turn!  We’re not materialists anymore, we’re not humanists anymore, nor are we given to building our hope and fortune in this world anymore, but we have our hearts in heaven.  We’ve set our affection upon things above, our treasures are over there, we’re looking forward to Jesus.  This here we’re using just for God until that final day of consummation comes.  And that’s what it is here.

Now, what is it there?  All right, there are three things it is over there, typified here in three classes of people.  Here’s one of them:  "And some of them said, We will not have this man to reign over us" [Luke 19:14].  Now, when we get to the by and by, and the consummation of the age, there are going to stand before God a vast host who have said, "We will not have Christ, no.  We will have the devil, we’ll have the flesh, we’ll have the world, we’ll have pleasure; but we will not have Christ.  Mostly we’ll have ourselves; we will worship ourselves and serve ourselves.  We will not have this Man reign over us" [Luke 19:14].  Now that’s one class of citizens who’s going to appear before the great God some of these days.  And what shall be their destiny?  "These which said, ‘I will not have Him reign over Me,’ bring hither and slay them before Me" [Luke 19:27].  However you try to turn it, there is a judgment in the hand of God, there is a sword in the hand of the Lord, there is the wrath of the Lamb [Revelation 6:16], and there’s no escaping it.  Some day, God shall divide, there shall be wheat and tares [Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43], there shall be sheep and goats [Matthew 25:31-46], "Two shall be working at a mill; one shall be taken, and the other left" [Matthew 24:41]; there’ll be a great gulf in between [Luke 16:252-26].  We must follow the Lord or we are lost.  And when we say, "We will not have this Man to reign over us" [Luke 19:14], our destiny is to be slain, to be cast into outer darkness, to be lost [Matthew 8:12].  There’s no variation from that in the revelation of the Word of God.

All right, here’s a second class:  "And there came one saying, Lord, here is thy pound which I have hid in a napkin.  And the lord said, You worthless and you profitless servant, you took what I gave you and just kept it for yourself" [Luke 19:20-22].  My soul!  When I think of that, I think of the people laying up like a squirrel in that hole, and burying in the ground like that, accumulating and saving.  We ought to do it to a certain extent; we ought to save up for a rainy day, we ought to prepare against an emergency.  But for us to take what God has given us and to use it just to store up, not let it work for God, not let it count for God, but just to accumulate and to keep for accumulation and keeping’s sake, that is a calamity!  It is an erosion, it is a rush, it is a deterioration of the soul!  "Worthless servant, this that I gave you, instead of using it for God, you hid it, you,"  And I want you to notice, that that servant, that worthless and trifling and selfish servant, the basis upon which he worked was the basis upon which a lot of us work.  Now you listen to it:  "If I were a rich man, I would sure support the kingdom of God; but since I’m not rich, all I’ve got is a pound, since I’m not rich, why, I just don’t have any opportunity to support the Lord."

One of the richest men in America knows a man whom I know real well.  So I said to this man whom I know real well, who knows that man real well, I said to that man whom I know real well, "I want you to make a luncheon engagement for this man you know real well," who’s one of the richest men in the United States.  "I want to talk to him.  I just want to visit with him.  I’d just like to talk to one of the richest men in America.  I want to ask him how he makes his money, and what he does with it."  So the man that I knew real well made a date with the man he knows real well, who’s one of the richest men in the United States.  And so I ate lunch with him.  I ate lunch with one of the richest men in the United States; and I talked to him an hour and a half, and I tried to find out how he made his money.  I thought I might share it with you, maybe.  I talked to him for an hour and a half.  And when I got through, I didn’t know still how to make money any more than I did when I first started out talking to him.  Brother, there’s a genius in making money, and I don’t know what it is; I can’t tell you.  But here’s some of the things he said.  He said, "Saturday, Saturday, I have to raise between now and Saturday two million dollars."  He says, "I have an obligation to meet Saturday of two million dollars, and I’ve got to raise it between now and Saturday."  And he said, "By tomorrow noon, I have to pay six hundred thousand dollars."  "Well," I said, "how are you going to pay six hundred thousand dollars tomorrow?"  And then, "Why," he says, "I’ll just do it easily."  I said, "How’re you going to pay two million dollars by next Saturday?"  He says, "I just do it easily, I won’t have any trouble at all."  And yet that man, and yet that man who’s dealing in those millions, and he’s paying millions, and buying millions, and yet that man, I wonder how much he does for the Lord?  Because he’s rich doesn’t mean he’s doing any more for God.  You’re just mistaken when you think that.  If you don’t do something for God with ten cents you have, you wouldn’t do something for God with ten million dollars you have.  It’s easier to do it with some little than it is with a whole lot.  And I’m not doing any other thing but telling you an honest observation of all humanity.  It isn’t a matter of how much.  "If I were rich I would give."  Oh no!  It’s never!  If you were rich, the chances are you wouldn’t give.  You’d be tied up with that six hundred thousand dollars the next day, and the two million dollars the next Saturday.

Now I want you to notice another thing, illustrating that same thing.  "If I were a Pharos – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, one of Alexander’s lighthouses down in Alexandria, built, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – if I were a Pharos, and to guide navies into the harbor by my light, I would shine; but this little light of mine, it doesn’t amount to anything so I’m just not going to do anything for the Lord, and what God’s given to me is so little."  And I’ve used that illustration to bring to your mind one of the most wonderful hymns that was ever written.  Do you remember the story when the ship came into the harbor, guided by the great lighthouse?  Safely into the channel, then the channel was marked by little lights along the shore, and the little lights along the shore went out, and the great ship hit a rock and foundered in the channel, and the people were drowned.  Do you remember that historical story?  And on the basis of that was written that famous hymn:

 

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,

From His lighthouse evermore – the Pharos –

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother,

[from "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," Philip P. Bliss, 1871]

 

We’ve got the lights along the shore.  "I may not be a great light, but what I have, let it shine for God."  And that’s what you see in this man here.  He never had very much; and what he did, he put away and didn’t use it for the Lord [Luke 19:20-21].  No, that’s not the point.  The point is, God wants us to use what we have for Him: "Occupy till I come."

Now I must hasten, because this third is really the one that rejoices our hearts.  The third class are these who come to the Lord and say, "Lord, look, what You gave me," and it wasn’t very much, now; don’t you get the idea the Lord gave them – He gave them a pound, that’s very little, five dollars, two dollars and ninety-eight cents.  He gave them very little, but they used it and dedicated it to God.  And when the Lord saw it He was happy, and assigned them their place in the social kingdom of God, and made it worthy [Luke 19:16-19].

Ah!  That’s the way we ought to be:  what I can, I will do.  It may not be much, but that with God is enough.  That’s all the Lord requires: He has got it all in His hands, He just wants us and Him.

May I close with this beautiful little story?  I have a wonderful friend; he’s a minister, and he’s also the head of a university.  And his little boy, little, little bitty fellow, his little boy came from Sunday school one day, and he had his nickel, just as tight in his fist.  And the father looked at him, and saw that nickel in his fist.  He said, "Son, that was for your Sunday school.  You were to give that to the Lord."

"No," said the little boy, "that’s mine, and I’m going to keep it." 

Well, what would you do?  This able man did one of the smartest things in the world.  In his study he had a globe of the world.  And he took his little boy, and he sat down with his little boy with that globe before them, and the father turned to Nigeria, and pointed out to him some places in Nigeria where missionaries were working, whom the little boy had known there in the school.  And the father said to the little fellow, "Son, and that nickel was for them."  And then he turned to other places in the world, and pointed out places where missionaries lived, whom the little boy had known in the school, and said, "And son, and that nickel was for them."  Then he spoke to the boy about the work that the little fellow had seen in his own state, the school where his father was president, and some hospitals, and some Baptist orphan’s homes.  And he said, "And that nickel was for them."  And then he talked about his church and the pastor, "And that nickel was for them.  And you’ve got it in your hand.  And what will they do?"  Wasn’t that the smartest thing you ever saw a man do? 

And the little boy, by the time his father had got through with him, the little boy was just heaving, just breathing so heavy, and tears in his eyes.  And the little old boy got control of his emotions, and said, "Daddy, next Sunday, I’ll take this nickel back, and I’ll take another one with it."

Not that the nickel meant a great deal; I don’t suppose a pound is much in the weighing of the balances of Almighty God.  But the devotion and the heart and the commitment of the little boy is everything, everything.  To teach him that he share in it, that he love it and pray for it, that "he occupy till He comes."  That’s what God does with us.  I may not have much, and compared to the riches of God’s coffers it looks like an insult just to say it or to mention it.  But that’s not what God looks at; God looks on the heart, in the soul.  "Occupy, use, till I come" [Luke 19:13].  And what it is, may God sanctify and bless it to the building up of His kingdom, to the blessing of the church, to the extension of the message and hope of Christ in the darkest corners of this weary, weary world.

Now if God has blessed the message, may He give us a harvest; may He seal it with the Holy Spirit of God.  Somebody you, to give your heart to Christ; a family you, to come into the fellowship of the church; in this balcony around, down these stairwells, at the front and at the back, come and stand by me.  In this great throng on the lower floor, to give your heart to Christ, to come into the fellowship of the church, if the Spirit bids you come, make it now, on the first note of the first stanza.  "I give you my hand, pastor.  I give my heart to God."  Or, "Today, we’re coming into the fellowship of this wonderful and precious church."  While we make appeal, would you make it now?  While we stand and while we sing.

OCCUPY TILL I COME

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Luke 19:11-13

11-2-58

 

I.          Introduction

A.  The story of Archelaus:  from Jericho to Rome (Matthew 2:13-14)

B.  Jesus passing through Jericho to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:8-9, Luke 19:40)

      1.  People expected kingdom to appear immediately (Luke 19:11)

      2.  In response Jesus told this story

C.  The meaning:  the kingdom postponed (Ephesians 3:5-6, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

1.  In the meantime God has given us a stewardship (Luke 19:12-13)

2.  All alike entrusted with stewardship of the gospel (Luke 16-19)

 

II.         The coming kingdom

A.  Shining city

B.  Divinely ordered society for a redeemed people

 

III.        Purpose of God: development of faithful stewards

A.  God giving us an opportunity to display our faithfulness

1.  We are all on equal footing before God in our responsibility

B.  God does not need anything we have (Haggai 2:8, Psalm 50:10, 12)

      1.  Old Testament sacrifices burned up (Leviticus 1:3-17)

      2.  God is trying to grow us that we might be fitted to enter His kingdom

 

IV.        Here and the hereafter

A.  Here

1.  When the citizens use what God has given them well, everyone prospers (Malachi 3:10)

B.  There

1.  Those who would have nothing to do with it (Luke 19:14, Matthew 24:41)

2.  Those who do nothing (Luke 19:20-22)

3.  The faithful stewards (Luke 19:16-19)