Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #203 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 19 today and our focus is on Jesus Declares Himself to be God + What We Can Learn about the Last Days From the Parable of the Talents. . We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Aydin, Turkey, parts unknown, France, Hamilton City, New Zealand, Seoul, South Korea, Punjab, Pakistan, Gujarat, India, Birmingham, Alabama, Los Angeles, California, and Hartford, Connecticut. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
First, two glimpses at the character of Jesus. First, Jesus meets Zacchaeus – a hated tax collector, and invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house to spend some time BEFORE Zacchaeus makes his declarations about paying back anybody he has defrauded and before he declares that he will give half of his possessions to the poor. Notice the response of somebody who has genuinely met Jesus and wants to follow Him – without being asked, Zacchaeus understands the priorities of Jesus, and responds with repentance (returning any money that he has taken wrongly) and generosity. The striking thing to me is how Jesus immediately inserted Himself into the life of Zacchaeus – seeking deep fellowship with an unpopular and despised tax collector. We get a second glance at the character of Jesus in His response to riding up to the city He would be executed in. What might you be thinking about as you were entering the city that you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the authorities there would soon execute you unjustly? I think I would be mad, scared, and any number of emotions…I might cry, and think about my family. Jesus too wept, but not for the reasons why I, or most of us would. Check this out:
41 As he approached and saw the city, he wept for it, 42 saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.43 For the days will come on you when your enemies will build a barricade around you, surround you, and hem you in on every side.44 They will crush you and your children among you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in your midst, because you did not recognize the time when God visited you.” Luke 19:41-44
Marvel at the mercy of the Master. He’s not thinking of Himself as He rides to His own execution, but the people and the leaders of the city who will execute Him. Marvel also at God’s justice, and the pride that had to be paid for ignoring the visitation of God Himself. And finally, note that here is one of the clearest places in Scripture where Jesus declares plainly that He is God in the flesh.
Second topic: The Parable of the Talents, which is called the Parable of the Minas in Luke (and the Parable of the Talents in Matthew) The majority of the time when we moderns uses the word ‘talent,’ we are referring to a person’s natural abilities or aptitudes, so the Parable of the Talents can be quite confusing. In the first century, a ‘talent’ was a measure of weight or sum of money – a lot of money, in fact. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 57 pounds of silver or 6000 drachma coins. It was only in the 1300-1500s, or thereabouts, when the meaning of the word ‘talent’ moved beyond weights and measures of wealth and began to take on its modern meaning. That means that when Jesus told the parable of the talents, he was not referring directly to natural talents but to a unit of money, which is why ‘mina,’ is probably a better and less confusing word to help us understand the parable. A mina was also a unit of money – less than the talent, but still a lot. The parable is not about money, so the units of money are quite interchangeable. Here are a few things we learn from the Parable of the Talents/Minas:
- Part of the purpose of the parable was to correct the view that the kingdom of God would FULLY manifest on earth immediately, and Jesus would take over immediately. “As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem, and they thought the kingdom of God was going to appear right away.” This would not be the case – in the parable, the nobleman goes away, as would Jesus at His ascension.
- This parable that Jesus tells speaks of a nobleman who travels far from His homeland to a country where He was to “receive for Himself the authority to become king.” Since this parable seems to be a description of Jesus coming to earth from Heaven, that is a bit of a fascinating statement.
- In the parable, the nobleman is hated by the subjects of his kingdom, just as Jesus would be hated and crucified by some of the Jews: 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us.’
- In the parable, the nobleman tells his servants to, “13 He called ten of his servants, gave them ten minas, and told them, ‘Engage in business until I come back.’” As followers of Jesus, we are to be about HIS kingdom business until He returns.
- One servant does nothing with his charge, but buries the money in the ground, hopeful he wont lose it. Upon His return, the nobleman, now made King, sternly rebukes this servant for doing nothing, “22 “He told him, ‘I will condemn you by what you have said, you evil servant! If you knew I was a harsh man, collecting what I didn’t deposit and reaping what I didn’t sow, 23 why, then, didn’t you put my money in the bank? And when I returned, I would have collected it with interest.’” In the parallel of this parable in Matthew, this servant is thrown into the outer darkness – cast away from the master, and left with all of the enemies of the newly crowned King. I take from this that Jesus is saying that a person who calls himself a servant of Jesus, but actually does not engage in the mission of Jesus is not, in fact, a genuine servant of Jesus. That person who is not about the business of the King will be cast away from the king when He returns. Let me be clear, we aren’t saved by obeying the commands of Jesus; we are saved by grace through faith, but ALL who are genuinely saved will be on the mission of Jesus and bear fruit, thus showing themselves to be His disciples. There is no such thing as a saved Christian who “buries His talents.” (Representing the commands and mission of Jesus; representing being about the business of the master) and does nothing while awaiting the return of Jesus.
Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
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