Joke of the week
Those of you who will need lots of coffee to get through 2017 will resonate with this:
You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee When:
You ski uphill.
You speed walk in your sleep.
You answer the door before people knock.
You sleep with your eyes open.
You just completed your third sweater today, and you don’t know how to knit.
You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
The only time you’re standing still is in an earthquake.
You lick your coffee pot clean.
Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
You can type sixty words a minute with your feet.
You don’t sweat, you percolate.
People get dizzy just watching you.
People can test their batteries in your ears.
Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
Your Thermos is on wheels.
You can outlast the Energizer Bunny.
You don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.
You don’t tan, you roast.
You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
You think CPR stands for “Coffee Provides Resuscitation.”
Do you really want a crystal ball?
Sometimes we would like to know the future. Haven’t you been thinking, “I wonder what 2017 holds for me, for my loved ones, for the country?” Most of us know deep down that we can’t know the future, though some people avidly read their horoscope every day. But some things about the future we can know, for Scripture tells us:
What you sow, that shall you also reap.
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.
I could go on. As you read the Bible, why not write down every statement you encounter that tells you what to expect if you do some particular thing. Put a plus sign by every verse that promises a good outcome, and a negative sign that signifies a bad outcome. You will see that you can know the future in every way that matters, and you will know what to do to ensure that your future is bright, in this life and the next.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful
Winter weather keeps us inside most of the time. What to do when you can’t recreate outside? The answer: Read The Crescent and the Cross: The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, published by Saluda Press. Written for young readers, feedback is that adults who’ve read it (mostly parents reading to their kids) enjoy it too. It tells how Sinbad the Sailor sails away towards Mecca in a desire to please Allah, but after undergoing one danger after another, he ultimately finds Jesus with the help of his young friend, an Ethiopian Christian named Selassie. The book presents the gospel, interspersed with many adventures, and shows how Islam cannot meet our true spiritual needs. Excitement, danger, and a clear statement of the gospel–all at a low price. What more could you want? It’s available on Amazon and also through this web page at Buying My Books at the top of the page.
Parables of the Kingdom: Parable of the Ten Minas: Luke. 19:11-27
This parable is similar to the Parable of the Talents, but it is a different parable, told at a different time. Jesus told the Parable of the Ten Minas when he was drawing near to Jerusalem (Luke 19:11), whereas he told the Parable of the Talents after he had arrived in Jerusalem. In the Parable of the Ten Minas Jesus included some material not found in Matthew. We won’t consider the central part of the Parable of the Ten Minas, which teach the same lesson as the Parable of the Talents. We will consider only Luke 19:11-14 and 27, which introduce a new element.
- Who is represented by the nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom?
- What is the far country?
- From whom will Christ receive his kingdom?
- Who are the citizens who hated the nobleman?
- What happened when the king returned? What does that represent?
Exposition of the Parable
The nobleman represents Jesus Christ. Here the Lord is telling the disciples that he is returning to heaven to receive the kingdom of God from his Father, and that he will return again. Luke, who wrote these words of Christ, must have remembered them when he wrote down the angels’ words to the apostles after Christ ascended to heaven:
Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Act 1:11
The rebellious citizens were the Jews who rejected Christ as their Messiah and king. The Greek word rendered citizens in the ESV means just that: they were not “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise” like the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:12); they were part of God’s people. But in just a few days they would reject their true king, and their leaders would tell Pilate that they had no king but Caesar (John 19:15).
When the nobleman, now a king, returned, he would slay his enemies. This tells us that when Christ returns he will order those who rejected him to suffer eternal punishment. We have learned that truth already from many of the parables we have studied.
We ought not to comfort ourselves that Jesus was speaking primarily of the Jews here. Today every baptized Christian is part of the Visible Church, part of the kingdom of God on earth. Those nominal Christians who rebel against him are as guilty as the Jews who rejected him two thousand years ago and will suffer the same fate.
Furthermore, the apostle Paul said he was charged with bringing about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all nations (Romans 1:5). All human souls—Jews, baptized Christians, and all others—are to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith. He is God’s anointed Prophet, Priest, and King. They may not be “citizens,” members of the Church, the kingdom of God on earth, but they are rebellious subjects, and they will suffer the just wrath of God.
Don’t be a rebel against God’s anointed King. Turn to Jesus Christ, so that you may be part of his eternal kingdom.
Next week we begin a new series.