Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke Chapter 19:11-27 Summary
A Tricky Parable
- Time for another illustration. This time, to correct the mistaken impression that God's kingdom is going to appear as soon as Jesus reaches Jerusalem.
- There's this nobleman who's departing for a faraway land in order to conquer a kingdom. His plan afterward is to return.
- He summons ten servants and gives each of them one "pound" (19:13) with instructions to invest and do business until his return.
- BTW, the citizens of this fellow's country despise him and go so far as to send an embassy requesting that he never return.
- After expanding his dominion, the nobleman returns and summons the servants he had charged with money to see how they did.
- The first comes and reports that he's taken his pound and turned it into ten. Not bad. The nobleman reasons that if he's trustworthy in this, he'll be trustworthy in other things, so he lets him be governor of ten cities.
- The second guy comes and reports that he's invested his pound and turned it into five. Accordingly, the nobleman gives him governorship over five cities.
- The third comes and returns the pound that he was given in the first place, no more and no less. It's actually kind of dirty—he had just buried it in the ground.
- Why? He says that the nobleman's a scary guy—way too strict and unjust.
- The nobleman is majorly ticked. At the very least the servant could have put the money in a bank, where it could have earned him some interest.
- He orders the bystanders to take this servant's pound and give it to the first one who had earned ten.
- Huh? The first servant already has ten!
- Exactly, says the nobleman: "to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away" (19:26). We've heard that before (flip back to 8:18).
- Then the nobleman orders that his enemies be slaughtered while he watches. Machiavelli would be proud.
- How is this story a response to the initial issue raised in 19:11? Why is it placed directly before the entry into Jerusalem? Who do the opponents of the nobleman represent? And the nobleman himself, who's he?