Palm Sundays Parable
Text: Luke 19: 11 – 28
Proposition: The parable of the ten minas was meant to prepare the disciples for the coming kingdom of Christ, to ready them for His departure and His return.
Introduction: Jesus and His disciples had just passed through Jericho and Zacchaeus the tax collector of that town had become a new believer in Christ. It’s while they were at Zacchaeus house that Jesus makes a statement that would echo down through time. In Luke 19:10 Jesus says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This would certainly include the person of Zacchaeus, the lost, but it also includes much, much more. ‘That which was lost’ refers not just to people but also to the things lost at the fall of man into sin. Things like eternal life, things like the unbroken relationship between man and God, things like the garden, the place of balanced order in which beauty declared God’s presence. That which was lost is what the Son of man came to seek and save, to bring it back to where it first began so that now it would take its next steps forward without the interference of Satan or sin. The way that Jesus was going to do this was going to be by the cross as He took our sin into His death. It would be by His resurrection and then ascension and then His second coming that He would save that which was lost. Finally He comes again as the King of heaven now King on earth that would soon become a new heaven and a new earth. The problem was that the people believed that this kingdom would come when Jesus entered Jerusalem that Palm Sunday. They thought He’d kick out the Romans, overturn the Pharisees and put a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage and a computer in every house. Their understanding of His kingdom fell far, far short of that which He came to seek and save. So Jesus tells them a parable, a Palm Sunday parable that was meant to put context into Palm Sunday. Look at that in Luke 19:10-28.
I. The Nobleman Must Leave the Servants.
The nobleman in the parable knows he is about to go to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom. He knows that having received it he will then return. He will judge His servants and then even the citizens who rejected Him, but the main reason for telling this parable was the peoples expectation of what would happen on that Sunday. Jesus was identifying Himself in that parable as the nobleman. His return in the parable and then in the reality of His Second Coming is the real triumphal entry. It’s why there is such a disconnect between what happens on Palm Sunday and that which takes place just five days later on Good Friday. Look what verse 11 says, “Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” Jesus was well aware of how the people and even the disciples would misread the events of this Sunday. It was in part why prophecy described Him as coming mounted on a colt of a donkey, a prophecy He directed His disciples to fulfill. That colt was a picture of a servant coming for a very different role than a prancing white stallion would depict. So Jesus tells this parable and it’s beginning point is that the nobleman must leave His servants and go to a far country in order to receive His kingdom and then to return triumphantly. That’s the main point of the parable and secondary to that is the accountability of the servants or His disciples to use the gifts He was about to give them while He was away. And yet Palm Sunday as we know it is exactly what the Father had intended it to be. It was the unveiling of Who Jesus is as the Messiah. This is the first time that Jesus ever publicly accepted the open worship of the crowds. Before he had not wanted that to occur because it would incite the Pharisees to jealousy and hasten His persecution and death. Now is the right time and now it does exactly that as the Pharisees and chief priests are angered by His popularity. But there’s also another reason why Palm Sunday was exactly as it should have been. Have a look at verse 13.
II. The Servants Must Do Business… ‘Until I Come’.
In the parable ten servants each receive a mina which is sometimes translated ‘a pound’. A mina was a measure of weight of about 1.6 pounds which if in silver in those days would have been worth about $35. The expectation is that as each one had the same gift and each should use it to do the business of the nobleman by trading with it. The parable quickly jumps over the time the master is gone in the far country to the time that he comes back to them. He is eager to know how they have done and as you read the account you hear the first say that the masters gift had earned ten more. The second comes and he used the gift to earn 5 more. He tells them because they have been faithful with a very little thing now they would be entrusted with something much greater. Interestingly the servants each say that it is the gift which has earned the increase, not them. Then another came and in contrast he buried the gift and didn’t use it at all. It would seem that this servant had the opinion that the master would do what the master would do and he didn’t really need the help of this servant nor of the gift invested in the servant. He couldn’t have been more wrong. His laziness and indifference to being given this gift caused him to now lose the very gift he had always had and to lose a great degree of opportunity to serve in his masters new kingdom. The point is not that the master wanted to get financially rich, it’s that he wanted to see the way these servants would be faithful to allow the gift to do what it was designed to do in and through them. It was a test of their character, of their faith and of their expectation of his return.
So what does it mean to do the masters business, what does trading with his gift look like? Let’s go back to Palm Sunday, look at verse 37. “Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen…”. Let me suggest to you that the most elemental way you can begin to trade with the gift that has been invested into by God is to praise God “with a loud voice for all the mighty works you have seen.” A loud voice means you are not ashamed to praise Him. To speak out praise to God is what were designed to do. To suppress praising God would be like suppressing the desire to drink water or eat food, it will cause you to become weak and even to die. The Scriptures say that all creation praises God, ‘the trees of the field clap their hands (Isa. 55:12). For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now (Rom 8:22) .Let everything that has breath praise God! How much more so should we who are created in His image praise God. Look at Luke 19:39, 40, “And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Some commentators think that the stones Jesus was referring to were the thousands of graves topped with stones that filled the Kidron Valley just below Him as He crested the Mount of Olives. Was it a reference to the voices of praise from all those who had gone before? Was it a reference to the way the God the Father would ordain the impossible to suddenly cry out praise to the Lord Jesus Christ as He was about to set in motion the final steps of redemption? The people that day praised the Lord for the mighty works which they had seen. What mighty works have you seen? Praise God for them. Let me ask a rather blunt question, ‘When is the last time you praised God?’ I don’t mean prayed to Him, I don’t mean thanked Him for something, I mean praised Him for Who He is, for how He has sent His Son Jesus Christ in the way that He has. You might even think that to be commanded to praise God sounds vain yet you miss the essence of what praise is. Praise is not so much your adoration as it is you speaking the truth, the truth about Who God the father is, the truth, way and life of Who Jesus is. The truth of Who the very Holy Spirit is that lives within you as a guarantee of your salvation in Christ. If you are a Christian you have been given a gift, it has been invested into you and you are accountable to use it, to in a sense trade with it that your character in Christ would grow in faith, hope and love. The net effect that happens when you praise God is that your own soul is blessed because it is what you were designed to do. The act of praising God will transform the lives of those around you. What did Silas and Paul do while in prison…they praised God and a jailer and his whole family were saved. He has come to seek and to save that which was lost. The perfect Son of God, the Great Redeemer, praise Him.