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The Return of the Nobleman

20 Mar

Second Coming - 4It might be interesting, as far as eschatology is concerned, to consider the context of the Lord’s Parable of the Pounds (Parable of the Minas in many translations) of Luke 19:11-27. First of all, Luke tells us the reason Jesus gave the parable. It is because the people thought the Kingdom of God was about to be established immediately upon Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem, and this is where Jesus was headed (Luke 19:11, 28). This is why Jesus’ disciples lay the palm branches and their clothing before Jesus as he descended Mount Olives to enter the eastern gate of the city (Luke 19:35-36; Mark 11:8). Nevertheless, Jesus claimed in the parable that such hopes would not be realized.

In the parable the nobleman had to go into a far country first, and there receive his kingdom (Luke 19:12). Only after this was done would the Nobleman (Jesus) return as King. Therefore, this parable concerns Jesus receiving his kingdom in the far country (heaven) and then returning (to earth) in what we understand to be his Second Coming. Before leaving for the far country, Jesus gave his servants a pound or mina, which was money valued at about three months wages. He commanded them to occupy or ‘carry out his business’ until he returned (Luke 19:13).

This is similar to what Jesus told his disciples at the great commission. “All authority in heaven and in earth is given to me. Therefore, go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all things I have commanded you. Behold, I am with you even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). In this context, then, the business of the Kingdom (Jesus’ business) is to preach the Gospel, and this is exactly what the New Testament records Jesus’ disciples doing. They preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, i.e. that Jesus reigns, but certain of Jesus’ citizens would not have him rule over them (cf. Luke 19:14).

In the context of modern understanding of Jesus’ coming, dispensationalists and premillennialists claim the Kingdom of God was delayed, because the Jews rejected Jesus, but this is illogical. If Jesus intended to reign on earth in a physical kingdom, on a physical throne, in a physical city, why did he refuse to reign in Jerusalem when the whole “world” was willing to receive him (cf. John 12:16-19). If Jesus intended to reign at Jerusalem, why did he refuse to do that during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Why did he hide himself when the Jews wanted to make him king in John 6:15? The point is, the Kingdom of God was never postponed, and, if Jesus wanted to reign from Jerusalem, he didn’t lack multitudes of people who were ready and willing to receive their Messiah in that context.

Moreover, postmillennialists also have Jesus reigning as a God/man in a physical kingdom, from a physical throne, from Jerusalem. However, for reasons mentioned above, this is illogical. If Jesus intended to do such a thing, he could have done it in the first century AD. However, according to the Parable of the Nobleman, he had to go into a far country and THERE receive a Kingdom, and then return. So, he returns as King. He doesn’t have to be enthroned as King on earth, he is King already when he returns.

Amillennialists believe Jesus is reigning now but once he returns he abdicates to the Father. Yet, this doesn’t seem likely, because he returns to receive his bride (Revelation 21:2). Why would Jesus put down all his enemies only to abdicate to the Father, and then at a time when he was supposed to receive his bride and celebrate the Wedding Banquet?

According to Luke 19 Jesus returns to judge the citizens who hated him and refused his reign over them. Who were these people? It seems to me that they were the Jews of the first century AD. When Jesus returned, as he promised to do, in the first century AD, he judged both Jerusalem and the Temple and destroyed them during the time of that generation of people who rejected him (cf. Matthew 23:35-36; 24:34; Mark 13:30). A generation was defined to be about forty years. Jesus went into the far country cir. 31 AD, and Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed cir. 70 AD—before that generation past.

Therefore, if Jesus came cir. 70 AD, does the Bible predict a “third” coming of Jesus? If not, I suggest that the Nobleman’s coming to judge those who would not have him rule over them (Luke 19:14, 27) was, indeed, Jesus’ Second Coming, and this would refute any future coming of the Lord. Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem in cir. 70 AD was similar to the Lord’s coming in judgment against Jerusalem in the time of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 4:13-14), and his judgment of Egypt in Isaiah 19:1. Neither the Jews nor the Egyptians actually saw the Lord coming on a physical cloud in the physical heavens, but they knew he was coming in judgment when that judgment occurred, so too in 70 AD.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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