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God’s Word for You

Luke 19:14-15a the delegation

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, January 17, 2019

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’  15 However, he was made king, and returned home.

The “subjects” of the prince represent the hostile Jews of Jesus’ day and ever since that time. They hated Jesus. They were the ones prophesied by David: “Those who are my enemies without cause” (Psalm 35:19). “How my enemies persecute me!” (Psalm 9:13); “My mortal enemies who surround me” (Psalm 17:9); “See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!” (Psalm 25:19); “Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors” (Psalm 31:11).

Can we attempt to identify who is meant by the “delegation” who was sent to reject the king? There are three points to observe here:

First, it is not always possible or necessary to find a spiritual meaning in every detail of a parable. Some parables, such as the Lost Coin or the Lost Sheep, really only have one point of comparison at all. In this part of the Parable of the Minas, the rejection of the King and the later punishment of those who reject him are the important comparison. We can understand the parable without insisting on identifying the delegation.

Second, there have been some who have identified the special delegation with the Christian martyrs who died for the faith, but this is the opposite of the meaning. Commentators who take this view are probably envisioning the “delegation” as those faithful ones who report or expose the false doctrines lurking in the shadows, and this is a noble thought. But the martyrs are not really sent by the unbelievers to report to the king, and that’s the context of the parable. The delegation, therefore, as well as the rebellious subjects, together fall under the umbrella of being “My enemies (who) ignore your words” (Psalm 119:139).

Third, we could say that those who have made a public rejection of Christ; especially those who have published such a rejection, could be seen as part of this delegation throughout the ages. Joseph Smith, Voltaire, Mary Baker Eddy, and Mohammed have all joined together in this unholy opposition to Jesus’ authority as the sovereign Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16). Each of these people, and many more besides, have said, “We do not want this man to be our king.”

“He was made king” ends all the arguments common to so many religions today, that anyone who is faithful to their own religion must surely achieve their own heaven. The one and only kingdom in eternity is the kingdom of Christ. Jesus said, “He who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16), and also, “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him on the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it” (John 12:48-49).

In verse 15, the whole history of the New Testament age comes and goes in a phrase: “He was made king” (the ascension of Jesus into heaven, Acts 1:9), “and returned home” (the second coming of Jesus on the Last Day). This phrase carries us immediately back to the previous details of the parables, where the minas were distributed. That distribution was the giving of the gospel to Christ’s followers, but now what follows will be his judgment of what was done with his gift, followed by his judgment on those who rejected him.

While we wait a little while for the judgment to come (in tomorrow’s devotion), consider today what you might still do with your gift of the gospel of the forgiveness of sins. Will you hide it away in your heart, afraid to share it with anyone? Or will you share it, spread it around, and give the very same gift to more and more people who will share in turn with still more? Consider what an amazing gift it is. No matter how much of the gospel of Jesus Christ you give away, you never run out. It is as if you and I are living inside the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Luke 9:17). We keep giving out the bread of life, but it never runs out, no matter how many we give it to, “for the bread of God is he (Jesus) who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). Share your Savior. This is the very opposite of opposing or rejecting him. This is holding out his promise to everyone you know and love.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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