PARABLES ON RESPONSIBILITY
Lk 12:13-21, 41-48, 19:11-27
I. Background to the Parables
a. In Luke 12, Jesus had been in a debate with the Pharisees and Jewish lawyers.
b. He first addresses his disciples, :1, then answers a member of the large crowd, :13.
c. This large mixed audience was the setting for his strict parables on responsibility.
d. In Luke 19, salvation was confused with the immediate coming of the kingdom of God, :11, so Jesus took the opportunity to address lifelong responsibility.
2. Definitions/Cultural Insights
a. Soul: life which is given by God, 12:19.
b. Servant: slave who is also a possession within the household, 12:43.
c. Mina: equivalent to about 100 dollars or 4,000 rupees.
II. Understanding the Parables
1. The Parable of the Rich Fool, Lk 12:13-21.
a. A man wanted Jesus to help him receive a portion of his father’s property (inheritance). Jesus’ response was hard, he would not help and that the man was greedy after possessions, and not after quality of life, 12:13-15.
b. The rich fool only wanted to store the crops for himself, rather than be rich toward God, 12:16-18.
c. God demanded his soul from him that very night, saying that his goods would not be stored up for his own use, 12:19-20.
2. The Parable of the Unwise Servants, 12:41-48.
a. This parable was spoken by Jesus to emphasize the previous lesson about watchfulness, 12:41.
b. A faithful, wise slave is one the Master finds doing his duty, 12:42-44.
c. The unfaithful and unwise slave is partying and feasting since he thinks the Master will not return, today. The Master will kill this slave when he returns unexpectedly, :45-46.
3. The Parable of the Ten Minas, 19:11-27. When a nobleman went away to be appointed king, he gave ten servants a mina each to use to produce greater gain for the nobleman’s estate, 19:12-13.
a. When he returned he wanted to know what each had gained by the mina, 19:15.
b. Two servants produced ten and five minas. They were rewarded with authority over ten and five cities respectively for their initiative, 19:16-19.
c. One servant returned only the mina entrusted to him because he was afraid of losing it, knowing his master’s high expectations. He was given no reward and the mina was taken away, 19:20-24.
d. The mina that had been taken away from one was given to the servant who had produced ten. This shocked the crowd! More will be given to those who produce more. To the one who produces nothing, everything will be taken away.
III. Consideration and Application of the Parables
1. God’s Rich To You… be rich toward God
Don’t be a fool like the man of the parable. God provides all good things. We are unable to claim anything good as a result of our own workings. God gave the good producing ground, God gave the authority to the slaves, and the Master gave the minas (talents, gifts, abilities, etc.) to the servants. All were good gifts from a good God, Js 1:16-17; Rom 8:32; 2 Pet 1:3-4. How will you use God’s gifts? Will you be rich towards God, or selfish?
2. Be Faithful & Wise…
For the faithful, wise servant of Christ there is great blessing; for the neglectful, disobedient there is punishment. Again the choice is ours. Christ is both gracious and just - which do you want to receive?
3. Be Watchful…
When we start thinking that Jesus will not return soon, then we may become lazy and unproductive like the unrighteous in the parables. We must redeem the time, Col 4:5; as though the Lord were coming NOW, 2 Pet 3:1-10!
4. Be Responsible…
God demands responsible lives. Grace does not free us from responsibility. It makes us more responsible - much given, much demanded. Yes, God saves us by His grace. Now, we must live according to the abundance of His grace upon us, Eph 2:8-10; Gal 5:13-14. Responsible lives are lives that are rich toward God, faithful, wise and watchful. It is a high calling, but then God has seated us at the right hand of Christ, in the heavenlies, Col 3:1-4!!
IV. Memory Verse - Lk 12:15