Luke 19:11–13 (NRSV)
As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. 13 He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
I believe the key to understanding a particular passage is sometimes found in the scene(s) immediately preceding and following. This is called the “context” of the passage.
I find it instructive to look at the context of Jesus’ triumphal entry in Luke’s gospel. Immediately preceding is a robust parable about stewardship. Jesus tells a story about a nobleman who went on a journey and left his servants in charge of various amounts of his resources. In the final accounting, each servant was held responsibility for what they were given. This is the final thought that Luke gives us before heading into Jesus’ passion of holy week. THE NEED FOR STEWARDSHIP IS VITAL. And while Jesus’ story is about monetary resources, the greatest resource will be given to the world in the coming week which is the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Luke is encouraging us that we will be accountable for what we do with this Good News.
Are you actively investing the Good News in the world? Or are have you wrapped it up in a cloth afraid of making a mistake or being subject to ridicule? The answer to that question will be one we must account.
Lord Jesus, your Good News has been given to us as a precious gift. It is the great resource which the world needs. Please make us good stewards of our witness.