The Third Man

My father had me watch The Third Man.  In today’s reading we are meant to watch The Third Servant closely.

the third servant represents a strong warning.  Connection to a Christian Community is not what makes a Christian, even if that person has stewardship responsibilities in that community.  A Christian is a person who has a relationship of trust with Jesus.  the Christian knows, because he or she has responded to the gospel, that God is gracious to those who turn to him for forgiveness.  Service to him and other people is the response of a changed and grateful heart that has embraced what it means to be forgiven.  The first and second servants have understood the call to respond to the nobleman, while the third servant doubted the master’s character in slanderous ways.  This parable calls on us to examine whether our perceived relationship to God is purely formal or real (Bock).

Luke 19:11-27

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

   14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

   15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

   16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

   17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

   18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

   19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

   20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

   22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

   24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

   25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’

   26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

Questions

  1. Why did Jesus tell the people this parable?
  2. How did the new king respond to each of his servants?
  3. What does this parable teach about Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and Israel?
  4. How have you been using what God has entrusted to you?
  5. Do you think this is a parable about the present or the future?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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