What if I fail?

What if I fail?

Passage: Luke 19:11-27
Service Type:

Intro: Revelation 3:20, “I stand at the door and knock…” Reply: Genesis 3:10

Today I want to ask, “What are you living for?”

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. ‘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.’

Still at the house of Zacchaeus.

Jesus tells a parable about stewardship, about waiting…

Lots of people didn’t want him as king, didn’t want him to come….

Jesus was coming to Jerusalem then… like it or not.

And he will come back later… like it or not.

1. Feelings about the truth don’t change it. 

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

~ C.S.Lewis

The command: ’Put this money to work, until I come back.’

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.’

Again, this is a parable about stewardship and waiting.

Every living person has gifts… and is to put them to work.

2. Life joyfully spends what its been given 

What are Gifts? Intelligence, coming from a good family, a wealthy country, being given an encounter with God, and having time (the most valuable) 

…even having the knowledge about the meaning of this scripture today…

Gifts (Talents) are meant to be multiplied.

Example: The Dead Sea only has inbound water. The only water that leaves evaporates. All that is left is water devoid of all life-forms. 

This is the picture of a person who gives nothing away, who hoards his talents.

Example: How would you like to die? 

What would you like to be doing (or holding onto) when the master returns?

“…we hardly dare admit that we should like death to come to us, not accidentally and suddenly through some trivial cause, 

but in the fullness of life and with everything at stake.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I want that written on my tombstone!

“He died in the fullness of life, with everything at stake.”

But we have a choice.

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?’

3. Fear of failure can actually cause it. 

“I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man.”

“We should not arrogantly push away the kind hand of God because God’s hand is otherwise so hard.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There is the God of love and the God of judgement. 

The God of the Bible is both. 

To leave out one is to misrepresent Him.

Example: Christians are to operate out of love and joy, 

not for fear of making a mistake.

God knows what we know. The wicked servant even admitted what he knew.

If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? 

Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

Proverbs 24:12

The wicked servant knew what was right but didn’t act on it. 

Almost like, “I knew you would gain, but I didn’t want you to.”

Example: A child wrecking the toy he can’t have.

Taking risks always has the potential for failure.

4. People are held accountable for what they know. 

The wicked servant was judged by his own words.

Rebellion is not the same as ignorance.

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.’”

The man lost what he wasn’t willing to give away.

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

Ecclesiastes 2:26a

5. Jesus champions the one who risks it all.

Let’s go back to one of the opening lines of the parable. 

“A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.”

’Put this money to work, until I come back.’

Jesus is this “man of noble birth”. 

He has gone to that “distant country”.

He has been made King,

…and he will return.

Why not?


The answer for rebellion is repentance, but what about fear? 

Think of God’s command not to fear..

“Words like 'do not be afraid', 'fear not', etc occur over three hundred times in the Bible and arguably 365 times, one for every day of the year.”

"We've all made mistakes. It's not just a 'you problem;' it's a human problem, not only have you made mistakes in the past, but you'll also make more in the future. I guarantee it. Even playing it safe and refusing to take risks is a mistake.”

~ Rick Warren 

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