The title of this blog is adapted from Jesus’s Parable in Luke 19: 12 – 27
“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:12-14)
It’s often quite easy to remember what happens after verse 15. The rewards being given to those who produced a return, and what’s been taken away from the one who hid his talent, but I’ve found that we almost always completely forget to pay close attention to the guys who said “This one will never rule over us”.
The parable goes on to conclude with “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me”.
Obviously, this parable was a jab at the religious elite who completely rejected Jesus as the messiah, but it doesn’t stop with them. This group technically covers the category of everyone who reject’s God’s dominion, under the rulership and reign of this one man “Yeshua” son of David.
An interesting story to note is when the Israelites requested a king for themselves for the first time in 1 Samuel 8. Where Samuel makes his sons judges over Israel because he was old, but the elders rejected him, because the sons weren’t exactly good, and they didn’t walk with God as Samuel did. Yet, God answers Samuel by saying; “give them what they want. For they have not rejected you, but me, that I should not rule over them”.
1 Samuel 8:7 and the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them
In this story, we see that God isn’t so much concerned with Samuel’s sons not being in the right. But he attributes the rejection of Samuels sons to himself. I.e. just by rejecting what God has set in order (or in motion) the people were inadvertently rejecting God. Just by thinking that they were more righteous, and/or that they had some kind of place to judge the integrity or the righteousness of Samuel‘s sons meant they had judged God unworthy of being king over them. However, Moses does say they were allowed to put one of their brothers as king over themselves, just they weren’t to crown a foreigner as King (Deut 17:15). Was God potentially alluding to the future event of the Messiah’s rejection???
In our Generation we criticize our leaders (and perhaps we ought to), but when they are elected into office, do we respect them or do we cry out and say “this one shall not reign over me”.
The Bible says Christ is the head of Every man (1 Corinthians 11:3). Not some men, but every Man. This includes the good and the bad alike. So if we reject a certain man who Christ is indeed the head of, are we rejecting Christ and cutting him off as those of his generation did?
I subtitled this post “knowing when to say yes, and knowing when to say no”, because thinking through the idea of submitting to God’s dominion reminds me of Jesus’s temptation when Satan says “if you bow down and worship me, I will give you all the kingdoms of the world, for they have been given to me”.
I know I said this was probably the weakest of all the test, but was it really? I mean those who didn’t accept Christ often accused him of being possessed by the king of demons ( Matthew 9:34). Even Jesus says in Matthew 10: 25 – “It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!”
See the idea of bowing down and accepting rulership isn’t just about the simplicity of it. It’s the perception of who you think is asking you to bow before them.
When Jesus tells the woman by the well that “you worship what you do not know, but we worship what we know”, he’s not telling her, you worship anything. He’s telling her, you don’t know the one you’re worshiping but we know who we as Jews are worshiping because we have an intimate relationship with the one we’re worshiping. We know who he is.
In like manner, Jesus tells the religious judean elites that they don’t know the father. He knows the father, for he has come from the father.
John 8:55 –
Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word
Jesus also says in John 10:4 – 5 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
See the act of worship is knowing the one whom you worship.
For Samuel’s generation, the people were willing to accept someone who they didn’t know, forgetting the true seat of rulership belonged to God, and whatever God sets in motion to function, he oversees.
When Jesus rejects Satan, is he rejecting him because he knew who Satan was, or is he rejecting him, because he knew who God was, and wasn’t willing to accept any other dominion but God’s? I think it was the latter.
When those who reject Jesus say “this one shall not rule over us”, do they reject him because they see him as a poor unlearned craftsman/laborer from Galilee? Or do they reject him because they assume they know whom the messiah should be?
Ezekiel 34: 22-24 talks about God shepherding his Sheep and placing his Servant David as shepherd over them.
Quick context; when Ezekiel gave this prophecy, David is dead, thus, the expectation from this; is the messiah is to be descended from the line of David (which Jesus was). But their hearts blinded their eyes to his identity.
The servant who hid the one talent he was given was judged as wicked, because he knew his master very well, and refused to do his master’s will. In this case, it wasn’t about bowing to the wrong person, it was about being rebellious against your master because you judged him in your heart as not being worthy
I remember an employee on the team I had taken on as a new job, who was arrogant and somewhat outright critical and defensive at every conversation we had. To me he came across as not wanting me to be his boss. He eventually resigned, but he lost a good gig because he wasn’t willing to get over his ego.
Today when we talk politics and we say democrats vs republican how much do we honor God in our conversation?
When do you say no? And when do you say yes?
Knowing when to say yes and when to say no, is knowing how to recognize that temptation when it does come.
Jesus says in Matthew 23: 11 “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
Are you truly a servant? A faithful servant?