Pondering A Parable
by Robert Driskell
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The Parable found in Luke 19:11-27 has of late been used by some to claim that Jesus commanded that His enemies be “slaughtered in front of him.” Let’s take a look at this passage and see what it really is about.
First, it states that it is in fact a parable. Webster’s Online Dictionary defines ‘parable’ this way: a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary /parable) accessed 8/23/2011
Jesus was using a story to illustrate a point. That is what a parable does.
Secondly, the reason for the parable is stated in this same verse: 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 (Luke 19:11 NASB).
Jesus’ followers expected Him to set up an earthly kingdom soon. Jesus told his followers the parable to teach them that (1) Jesus had some things to do before He initiated His kingdom, (2) His followers must be patient in waiting for His kingdom to come, and (3) they should use their time wisely while waiting.
The rest of the parable focuses on the slave’s productivity while the nobleman was gone. Christians are to be fruitful as we live our lives waiting for Jesus to return.
When the nobleman [Jesus] returns, he will reward his servants. Notice that, even the slave who did not make any money is still a slave. In other words, this part of the parable speaks of rewards, or the lack thereof, not salvation. The ‘worthless’ slave did not lose his salvation [his place in the nobleman’s service].
This brings us to the verse in question, verse 27: “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
The nobleman of the parable commands his enemies, the people who rejected his rule, to be killed in front of him. This does not seem out of character for a ruler in that day and age. We have no reason to doubt that some rulers behaved in this very fashion.
Nevertheless, the Bible is clear that there will be a judgment of all people. Jesus Christ will be the judge. Our eternal destiny will have been decided based on our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, while we are/were on earth.
Let’s consider a few passages from the Word of God concerning this subject:
• Those who have rejected Jesus will, “…go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46 NASB).
• “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 NASB). Belief and obedience go hand in hand.
• “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NASB).
• “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:8 NASB).
• “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11 NASB).
• “…whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (John 3:15 NASB).
• “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24 NASB).
• “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40 NASB).
• “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47 NASB).
This leaves each of us with a choice to make. Will we rebel against God, reject Jesus, and spend eternity separated from them both?
Or will we respond to the loving offer of salvation, which Jesus paid for on the cross, and spend eternity with the Creator and Savior of the universe?
The choice belongs to each of us. It is a decision with eternal ramifications.
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