Saturday, 10 March 2012

Turning Tables

I read the Parable of the 10 Minas this morning (Luke 19:11). The context of it in the flow of Luke's gospel shed new light on it that I had never noticed before. You're probably wondering what took me so long. Here are some thoughts in no particular order...
  1. Jesus is on his way up to Jerusalem where he is about to be welcomed as a king, and one week later rejected (and then crucified) like the king in the parable. (Luke 19:14,37)
  2. The people in the hearing of this parable have just seen Zacchaeus wonderfully converted by meeting Jesus. Zacchaeus, who was once a black hole of a man, oppressing the people by unfairly taking from them has now become a giver, after the pattern of Jesus, the one who transformed him. He goes from being a selfish man to being a sacrificial man, from hoarder to sharer.
  3. In the parable, those rewarded by the king are those who take what has been entrusted to them and multiply it for good. Something that Zacchaeus is now doing. (Luke 19:8)
  4. The wicked and lazy servant did not put it to work, rather he hid it away from view, just like Israel who took the oracles of God and used them to separate themselves off in superiority to the world whilst letting the rest of the world go to the dogs, rather than mediating God's blessing to the nations. See how Jesus lets rip in the Temple later in the chapter. (Luke 19:7, 46)
  5. The lazy servant had a high view of his master's sovereignty and appears to have understood what his master was up to, yet somehow that never translated into significant and meaningful action / mission. (Luke 19:21)
  6. The lazy servant is stripped of the mina entrusted to him and it is given to one of the faithful servants. A picture of the destruction of Jerusalem that would come 40 years or so after this incident as the guardianship of the oracles of God is formally moved from the nation of Israel into the New Testament Church. (Luke 19:41-42)
In summary, those who thought they stood, would one day fall.  Those who tutted at Jesus because he was "fraternizing with sinners" and by their hypocrisy were shutting the Kingdom of God in men's faces, would be the very ones who would one day see themselves shut out of God's blessing. (Luke 19:44)

The temporary institutions (denominations) of the church in every age, just like OT Israelite Religion, fall into this same trap becoming literal Hell holes, unless there is constant reform and renewal by the Spirit.

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