DEFINING KINGDOM – Receiving The Right To Rule

Now, back to Luke 19:12:

So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.

He went to a different country to receive a kingdom for himself. Well, you’ve got to ask the question: Is he talking primarily about a realm, the people, or the reign or the right to rule itself? Let’s continue – –

“And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

Now, what was he going to this distant country to receive? The right to reign! The right to rule! By the way, down in verse 14 where it says, “we don’t want this man to rule over us,” what do you suppose that phrase “to reign” is in the Greek? It’s the verb, basileuō. And in verse 12, where it talks about him going to receive a kingdom, the word kingdom is the noun of the same word, basileia. What he went to receive, they did not want him to have – the right to reign over them.

And by the way, although this applies to Jesus Himself because He was going to go off and receive the right to rule, one of the first things He said on returning after the resurrection was at the front end of His commissioning the disciples. He said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth” (see Matthew 28:18). “The right to rule is now Mine. I’ve taken the keys.” And though it is so in the heavenlies, it is not yet fully exercised here because He is establishing His reign. Where? In the hearts of those who love Him! And so we see here in this text the definition of Jesus’ use of the word ‘kingdom.’ It’s the same word He used in referring to the gospel of the kingdom in passages throughout the gospel accounts.

But the Jew of His day had a different image than the one that Jesus referred to in this parable about Him going off to receive a kingdom for Himself. The image they had is of a family that they were familiar with—Herod’s family. And Herod’s family, history records, travels to Rome, visits with Caesar and in negotiation receives the right to rule over Israel as the head of a puppet government. And it was the threat of the loss of that right to rule that Jesus represented to Herod and his family; a threat to Herod’s rule that he received like this nobleman that went off to a far country.

So when Jesus told this parable, everyone understood, at least in the likeness of Herod going off to receive a kingdom. When Herod went off to receive the kingdom, did he go off to get a land that he was not living in? No! Did he go off to get a people that he did not know? No! He comes back to the same place that had the same boundaries, the same name, and the same people as before he left. So what did he receive? The right to rule! And that’s the issue. The gospel of the kingdom is the gospel of the reign first, then the realm, then the people over whom he reigns.

Nothing will make sense for the rest of the book unless that is in our heart. What was lost in the Garden? The truth that it takes the reign of God in the heart of man for man just to be man or woman as God gave them to be. That’s what Jesus came preaching and establishing: the reign of God is now here; the reign that was intended to be exercised from the heart of man is now here.

But, let’s continue reading in verse 14:

“But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had dome. The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’

I want you to see this, understanding this parable in the context of Jesus Himself. Before He goes off and receives, He has those who are His servants, that is, those over whom He is master being entrusted with a certain stewardship. And in this context, it would be the disciples, wouldn’t it? And in this context it would also be you and me. And whatever he has entrusted to us we recognize that it is not really ours but in the end is all His. And I’ve said right from the beginning it is my intent, and I hold no punches back, it is my intent to challenge every one of you to give all that you are and all that you’ve been entrusted with to the King and His kingdom. And how you use what He has entrusted to you which is your life and all that is entailed and all that you’ve been entrusted with, it is all about using them for the day when the Master returns and is going to hold you and me accountable.

Being Accountable –

This living our life as if we are not accountable for what God has entrusted to us is a deception that is gong to harm many before the throne, because we are handling our resources and our wealth as if they were ours on the whole. I do not know many in this country who have a good handle on our being His stewards and we’ve been entrusted with creation until He comes. What we are given in eternity and the rule we are given in eternity and the authority we are given in eternity is determined by how we handle what he has now entrusted to us.

Our 70 or 80 years is nothing compared to a million times a million years plus infinity. It’s just a vapor, just nothing. Why do we get so entangled in such small ambitions when He is entrusting to us that which can be multiplied in eternity to who knows what? Because it is the church, His bride, who is going to be sitting next to Him on the throne, reigning over all eternity. And so this parable is very applicable concerning the coming of the King.

Let’s continue in verse 18:

“The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is you mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave.’

Now, he was this master’s slave. He did belong to the king.

“He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ ”

Now if you think He’s going to be harsh with the man who held onto it tight, hid it, saw that it was not lost, if you think He’s going to be harsh with that man, what about the man who squanders it on his own good pleasure, thinking He may not come? I don’t know. Why do we do such things? Am I being too hard? It’s got to mean something.

“Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.”

Verse 27 ties up the definition: “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them…”

Remember, He went off to receive the right to reign over them.

“But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them…”

Heavenly Father, our heart is that Your Holy Spirit convicts us of all of those areas that we’ve not wanted You to reign over. We trust Your grace and mercy. We know your love; it’s spoken of so well in Christ Jesus.

“But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

They also were citizens of the kingdom but their end was not very pretty. I believe this whole issue of His reign, the gospel of the reign, is the front issue, is the pivotal issue before the church in the West. It’s not so much an issue in much of the eastern church – Asia or Africa, because you will not come to Jesus unless you wrestle with who is going to reign, because the cost of coming to Him is too high. In the West we’ve had a gospel that has been, for the most part, costless.

“No one of you can be My disciple who does not take up his cross, deny himself daily, and follow Me” (see Luke 9:23). He wants to reign. It may sound like a big sacrifice on our part, but it’s only because of short sightedness that we would ever think such. It is because the least in the kingdom is greater than the greatest man who ever lived before. And that runs from John the Baptist all the way back through Solomon, David, Moses, Abraham, you name them. Because it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the reign. We’ll look at that again a little later.

What we have said is that there are two definitions or two ways for arriving at the definition of what Jesus means by the gospel of the kingdom. It is the gospel of the reign, first by definition itself of the word and secondly, Jesus defines it in this Luke 19 text. It’s defined elsewhere but it’s very clear in this Luke 19 text… how the word kingdom is used in this text and is often used to mean the reign itself.

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9 Responses to “DEFINING KINGDOM – Receiving The Right To Rule”

  1. timbob Says:

    Good morning. I was wondering, while going through this, how often we say by our actions that “we will not have this man to reign over us.” Many saints seem to tithe as to satisfy their obligation and look at the rest as “all mine.” Many (including myself probably more often than I would want to admit) have a very possessive attitude toward the physical attributes in our life. We want to sit on the throne, go on vacation when we want to, spend our money as we see fit (after all I paid my tithes) work where we want to work, and create a comfort zone that’s catered to our lusts. We will proclaim that Jesus is first in our life and has the reign in our heart, while large pockets of self governance continue on. As long as we do our “duties” we may not even be aware of these pockets of resistance.

    It’s kind of like Afghanistan. There’s a president who, in official capacity, governs over the country, however most of the territory is controlled by forces hostile to his authority. As a result, he is reduced to being little more than a figurehead. (Your earlier analogy of modern day monarchies was perfect)

    Another very meaningful post that causes examination. May we all strive to ensure that Jesus is Lord over all of our life. It’s easier to write about than to employ, but we must pursue this in sincerety. Thanks. Have a blessed day in Jesus.

    timbob

  2. Jerald Says:

    Thank you Timbob. Your comments are very insightful.
    As I read what you said, it reminded me of Matthew 16:26 where Jesus asked the question, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
    All I have to do to see how people answer these questions is to look around.

  3. Rana Says:

    he is a psyhco what kind of parable is this terrible full of violence

  4. Jerald Says:

    Rana,
    The “he” in your comment that you say “is a psycho” is the person who is telling the parable – Jesus. He is telling us that one day when we all stand before the Son of God for judgment, the ones who refuse his reign over them will be judged very severely. And you are quite correct in saying that this is “terrible” and “full of violence”. In another place in Scripture it says, “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
    But a better description of the fate of all mankind is in Revelation 20:15 that says, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

  5. Said Abboud Says:

    Brother, I have to concur with you. I am saddened that most people dont/won’t read the Bible for themselves and/or ask and/or receive understanding, revelation from or thru the Holy Spirit. Much of the time there is no need 4 interpretation 4 the Word means just what it says. It is not yet manifested to the world the Kingship of Jesus.t This is why the Jews of His day would not receive Him as Messiah other than they (the controlling Pharisees who had taken control from the Saducees) had already established their “own righteousness” which was really after satan. This is why Jesus identifies them as the synagogue of satan and those who say they r Jews and r not. He is a Jew who is one inwardly. Tho Jesus acknowledged they were of the seed of Abraham, He said that they were of their father the devil and his works they would do. So they did not want Jesus 2 reign over them b/c they already had a master who had given them a new hope, righteousness. They manipulated much of the masses to see what they wanted 2 c. Also, it was the plan of God 4 them not 2 c and 4 Him 2 hide it from them 4 that time. They were looking 4 a physical manifestation of a King who would usher n a physical kingdom in that time according 2 the prophecies and which they WILL see and have manifested n the millenial reign of Jesus (and the elect ruling with Him). God has a plan and it is called the Gospel…it is the true salvation. It is almost selfish to within the plan of God 2 think that salvation is just about what applies 2 us n this lifetime which is so minute compared to eternity which is what the Gospel is about. It is just a vapor. So thank u brother 4 declaring this.

  6. Jerald Says:

    Thanks for commenting brother. It’s amazing how so many have missed this. I believe that is the reason so many fall into sin after ‘conversion.’ Jesus needs to be Lord as well as savior. One day all creation will acknowledge Him as Lord but we are not there yet and as long as we are in the body we’ll usually put it before Him.

    On another note, as we come together and realize the truth of the gospel, we realize that what Jesus said about “one another” will challenge our thinking.
    There is an organization that has been designed to help people with the formation of unity of the body in them – not just as a precept of scripture, but as an actual way of life. Check it out: http://www.1723initiative.org.
    The 17:23 Initiative is raising up Watchmen (see Isaiah 62:6-7) to pray this prayer of Jesus with him so that their hearts will be turned inside-out, from within to without.
    If you would like to receive a 30 day devotional that will apprentice you to this wonderful prayer, just let me know. I’ll send you one.

  7. Kudzai K Says:

    This is incredible. I especially like the history that you gave about how herod went to go and receive a kingdom. It illuminates the scripture. Thanks

  8. JeraldD Says:

    The whole idea here is that the real definition of the English word ‘kingdom’ is not the realm but the right to rule. What was lost in the Garden of Eden was God’s right to rule in His man. God ruled until that faithful day when Adam decided to take the rule back from God for himself. Actually, that’s our problem today too. We want to rule instead of God.

  9. Jerald Hill Says:

    It’s been so long since I’ve posted on this blog – I was wondering how you found it?

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