Message: Who is ruling over me? In Luke 19 Jesus went into a parable that sounds strikingly similar to the parable of the 10 talents in Matthew. In this parable Jesus spoke about a nobleman who traveled to a far country to receive for himself the authority to become king. He would later return with his kingly authority. He called for his slaves and gave them each 10 minas and told them to “engage in business” until he returned. We understand this parable to represent Jesus as the nobleman who would leave a portion of his valuable business to his slaves/servants (the Jews) while he was gone for an unknown amount of time. What really jumped out at me was verse 14 which says “but his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him saying ‘we don’t want this man to rule over us!’ When he returned with his full authority in place, he took account for what they had done and rewarded accordingly. I normally read this with the understanding of stewardship, but as I read about how much they hated him it occurred to me that this parable was really dealing with the rebellion of their hearts and how that affected their obedience.
Command: Surrender our desire to rule ourselves and engage in the business of the nobleman.
Promise: Our surrender determines our fruitfulness. The more surrendered we are, the more fruitful we will be.
Warning: Our surrender determines our fruitfulness. The more rebellious we are to surrender, the less fruitful we will be. If we fight that surrender hard enough, we just might become the servant who completely refused to engage in the business of the nobleman.
Application: There are authorities in our lives whether we want to accept them or not. The Jews rejected Jesus as that authority, but it didn’t change the reality of the matter. This passage tells us that his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him saying “we don’t want this man to rule over us”. It seems we all want the reward of eternity in heaven, but we hate the idea of allowing anyone to rule over us. The rebellion in our hearts will fight this process literally to the death of us. We will either die to our flesh in obedience, or we will die in eternity due to our defiance. The real truth is that as believers, we no longer belong to ourselves. We belong to God and either we will fully embrace his rule over us, or we can be like the slave who rejected his authority. His decision to reject authority did not change the fact that the nobleman’s authority existed. It just came with a hard consequence in the end. As I read this over and over, I felt like most of us would reject or dispute the idea that we ‘hate’ Jesus. We might justify that we love Jesus and want all he has for us, but we just hate being ruled over right? This is the whole premise of the gospel. We don’t get to accept Jesus and all of his rewards without also accepting his full rule over our hearts. Our surrender is absolutely necessary, and in this story the amount of surrender each servant had was depicted in his fruitfulness with the valuable things that the nobleman left them. This causes me to question my level of surrender. How much am I allowing God to rule? Am I ruling myself and giving God certain pieces or am I really fully surrendered? What things do I allow Jesus to touch, and which things do I try to kind of hide to the side in an effort to mostly surrender, but keep a few things for myself.