Kingdom Series – Part Three
One of the duties of disciples is to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven. This is a prelude to the salvation of many others. Thus, the title today. We are to be infectious carriers of the gospel of salvation and of the kingdom of God. We are to spread, or share, the good news with those in our sphere of influence and contact.
Beginning with John the Baptist preaching repentance, for the kingdom is at hand. Then Jesus, our example, preaching the kingdom throughout His earthly ministry. Jesus continued the message to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead.
He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:3 ESV
Then Saul, who was persecuting the followers of Christ, had his transformation moment, becoming Paul, an apostle. He also took up the mantle to preach the gospel of salvation and the kingdom of God.
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
Acts 19:8 ESV
Even while in Rome, under house arrest, people came to him, and he shared of the kingdom of God.
When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in great numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to
convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
Acts 28:23 ESV
He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without
Acts 28:30-31 ESV
One day while teaching a large crowd beside the sea, Jesus taught using parables and He asked a question.
And He said, “with what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
Mark 4:30 ESV
It is also recorded that He asked questions similar to this in the Gospel According to Luke, 13:18, 20. Jesus, in my opinion, was good at stirring up the curiosity of the crowds to whom He spoke. Jesus told many parables on the subject of the kingdom, which we will get to in a few minutes.
I believe this is a good question for disciples to ponder and study out. Afterall, can a disciple excite someone else on a topic of which one has little understanding? We must study such things so we can be ready to answer questions of the hope we have. Though it is in a different context, the principle of this admonition by Peter is accurate for this question as well.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
It seems to be a good follow up to Paul’s words to Timothy.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
The disciples had questions about the parables which Jesus used to teach the people. They even had a question about why He used parables.
Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak in parables?” And He answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not
Matthew 13:10-11 ESV
The reasonable question, in my mind, is why? Why parables for some people to understand while others remain baffled? Here is why it is beneficial to read the parallel verses. In this case, the question is also recorded in the Gospel according to Mark, 4:10-12, and Luke, 9:10, concerning the parable of the sower. We learn more quickly that Jesus is referring to a prophecy of Isaiah, of which this is the fulfillment.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And He said, “Go, and say to this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not
understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and
understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Isaiah 6:8-10 ESV
To the children of God, to the disciples of Christ, has been given the spiritual eyes, and ears, and understanding, of the meaning of the parables. Here is a list of some of the parables. I hope, at some point, to study each of these parables and put them on the virtual study site. But for now, you will have to study for yourself those that interest you.
Matthew 13:24; The kingdom compared to a man who sowed seeds.
Matthew 13:31; The kingdom is like a grain of mustard seed.
Matthew 13:33; The kingdom is like leaven.
Matthew 13:44; The kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field.
Matthew 13:45; The kingdom is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
Matthew 13:47; The kingdom is like a net that gathered fish.
Matthew 18:23; The kingdom compared to a King who wished to settle accounts.
Matthew 20:1; The kingdom like a master hiring laborers.
Matthew 22:2; The kingdom like a king who gave a wedding for his son.
Matthew 25:1; The kingdom like ten virgins.
Mark 4:26; The kingdom as if a man should scatter seed.
Let’s take a brief look at the parable of the ten minas. It tells a story of how believers should be working for the kingdom. I am going to hit some highlights. For the full study I did on this parable, it can be found in the “Virtual Study Topics and Links” section of the Virtual Study With .us site.
This parable is in the Gospel According to Luke, 19:11-27. It is an essential teaching for believers to learn to value obedience and that there are degrees of reward for the servants of God. There are three distinct classes of believer in this parable which I see as believer, disciple, and overcomer. As you study this parable, determine whether or not you see it the same way. If not, how do you see it? What is the reasoning and scriptural support for it?
Beginning in verse 11 we learn that the disciples of the day were expecting that the “Kingdom of God was to appear immediately.” This is not unlike today as some people expect a rapture to take place at any moment as they wait for deliverance out of this world and its problems. I was once numbered among them as I kept busy in the church without bearing much fruit. To some effect, this expecting sudden deliverance causes a paralysis that keeps believers from enthusiastically and effectively working for the Kingdom of God. There is an expectation for God to do something rather than working to do what God has instructed us to do.
Jesus told this parable to those who were with Him at the home of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. I believe this parable is instruction for His disciples, believers with ears to hear. It includes warnings for those who do not heed the command to engage in His business until He returns.
He said therefore, “a nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
Luke 19:12 ESV
I believe the nobleman would equate to Jesus.
- As I mentioned, more details can be found at VirtualStudyWith.us
Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’
Luke 19:13 ESV
- Ten: divine order; law
- Ten servants: an order to God’s business
- Ten minas: an order to how we do God’s business
- They were ordered to continue doing his business, on his behalf, until he returned
But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’
Luke 19:14 ESV
- Hated him: those who are not with Christ are against Him
- The world hated Him first
- Sent a delegation: those who hated him sent the delegation
- One group that hated Jesus was the religious leaders
- Another group is those of an anti-Christ spirit
When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.
Luke 19:15 ESV
- When he returned: the master did indeed return as he said he would
- This foreshadows the second coming; Christ’s return with the saints; coming with judgment
- He calls the people to come for judgment: to judge their performance with what he gave them
The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’
Luke 19:16 ESV
- The first: represents the group who diligently went about the business of the kingdom while the lord was gone
And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
Luke 19:17 ESV
- The lord was pleased with the servant
- Pleased with the effort and attention to business
- The reward was in line with the work done
- Effort and success combined to gain the reward
And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’
Luke 19:18 ESV
- The second servant represents the group who did some business for the kingdom while the Lord was away
- Five minas more: a smaller return than the ten minas, but a return nonetheless
And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
Luke 19:19 ESV
- Again, the reward was commensurate with the fruitfulness
- It appears, whether the five or ten, the reward is proportionate to the result
- Not effort or intention
Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief;’
Luke 19:20 ESV
- This one represents a group of servants who don’t really serve much at all
- Little to no effort is exerted
- No fruit is produced
‘for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
Luke 19:21 ESV
- This type of fear paralyzes one, preventing success or accomplishment
He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
Luke 19:22 ESV
- Fear and unbelief in the heart will manifest in word and deed, or lack thereof
‘Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
Luke 19:23 ESV
- Knowing something was expected, doing nothing, to produce no fruit, was not an option
And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’
Luke 19:24 ESV
- Those who stood by: other servants? Those who were not being judged at the time?
And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’
Luke 19:25 ESV
- The others were looking at fairness according to man’s ways and the world
‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’
Luke 19:26 ESV
- Who has and who has not: refers to fruitfulness
‘But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
Luke 19:27 ESV
- Those who would not acknowledge the rightful place of the Lord, those who continued in rebellion against him, are dealt with in a judgment all their own
- The unfruitful servant at least acknowledged the Lord and His position to rule the kingdom
- Some believers are unfruitful
- Content to do what they determine to be their religious duty
- No sacrifice and little effort
- No lasting spiritual fruit
- They may remain believers and be spared, but without reward or advancement of position
- Some believers put forth an effort that produces fruit
- Some believers that have become disciples will prove themselves to be overcomers
- So, in this parable we see the progression of faith and action; faith and works
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 ESV
- Shama: “to hear’ and “to obey”
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:17 ESV
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
- Faith and works are entwined
- Our works will be made manifest, that is, our fruitfulness
Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by
fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will
suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 ESV
- Our obedience and works in faith matter
- As in the parable, some will miss the rewards and lose what they have
- Some will receive great rewards for using what they had to build well on the foundation
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 ESV
- Overcome the world to live and love sacrificially for one another and for the Kingdom