OCCUPY TILL I COME
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13 KJV)
The expectation of the early disciples of Jesus who accepted and regarded Him as the Messiah was that He would immediately exert His supernatural power and authority to deliver the Jewish nation from the dominion of the Romans, overthrow the Romans kingdom, and set up His own physical Kingdom in Jerusalem, thereby fulfilling the prophecy about the Messiah establishing His physical Kingdom on earth with His headquarters in Jerusalem.
However, on His way to Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus corrected this wrong notion about the Messiah establishing His physical Kingdom on earth at His first coming by giving a parable about a certain nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then returns (Luke 19:11-27).
But before the nobleman left, he called his ten servants and delivered to them ten pounds and said to 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.”
When this nobleman returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded His servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him that he might know what they had gained by trading. Sadly, one of the servants did nothing with the money he had received but kept it away in a napkin.
Having rebuked this lazy servant, the nobleman ordered what he had to be taken away from him and given to the faithful servant. Afterward, the nobleman commanded, “But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.'” (Luke 19:27 NKJV).
What are the spiritual implications and lessons in this parable?
They are worth finding out!
First, the nobleman in the parable who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then returned to reward his faithful servants and also to punish all those who hated him and rejected his rule represents the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although the Lord Jesus had received all authority in heaven and on earth at His first coming, yet He will not fully exert this authority to punish all those who hate Him and reject His rule, or to forcefully put them into subjection under His feet until the end of the dispensation of the grace when He returns to establish His physical Kingdom on earth (Matt. 28:18, Eph. 1:10, Heb. 2:8-9).
Second, the nobleman’s citizens who hated him and rejected his rule represent the Jewish nation and the unsaved world in general. The Jewish nation vehemently hated and rejected the Lord Jesus at His first coming as their Messiah and King.
During the trial of Jesus, Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.” (John 19:14-16 NKJV).
John also testifies, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:11-12 NKJV).
At His second return, the Lord Jesus will fully exert His authority as the LORD of ALL to forcefully bring into subjection under His feet all His enemies and to punish with everlasting punishment all those who hated and rejected Him as their Lord and Saviour. The end of the haters and rejecters of Jesus Christ will be very terrible (Luke 19:27, Matt. 25:46).
Third, when the nobleman in the parable returned, he began the judgment at his house, with his servants to whom he had entrusted his resources. He commanded all his servants to be brought before him so that they might give an account of their works to him. He rewarded the faithful servants but punished the unfaithful and lazy servants (Luke 19:15-26).
Similarly, at the second return of the Lord Jesus, the judgment will begin at the household of God, with the believers to whom God had entrusted His resources or gifts.
1 Peter 4:17-18 – NKJV
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
The purpose of the believers appearing before the judgment seat of Christ is not to determine their eternal destination but to determine their rewards for their works or labors towards the growth and expansion of God’s Kingdom on earth.
The faithful believers will be fully rewarded, but the unfaithful and slothful believers will suffer a significant loss.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – NKJV
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 – NKJV
13 Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Beloved, while waiting for the second return of the Lord Jesus Christ to subjugate or quash every rebellion against His authority and establish His everlasting physical Kingdom on earth, the Lord expects you to occupy till He comes, proclaiming and demonstrating His preeminence or Lordship.
Wherever the Lord has placed or positioned you, the Lord expects that you will continue His ministry there, proclaiming and demonstrating the Lordship or preeminence of Jesus Christ (John 17:18, 20:21).
As a born-again believer, you are not supposed to be waiting passively for the return of the Lord Jesus, making no profit or bearing no fruit from the grace of God which you have received from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul admonishes, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor. 6:1 NKJV).
Every believer is a partaker or recipient of the grace of God!
Paul affirms, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph. 4:7 NKJV).
Friend, if you are not actively involved in mission, evangelism or soul-winning, in maturing the believers, in edifying the Church, and in proclaiming or demonstrating the preeminence of Christ on earth, you have simply received the grace of God in vain, and you will miss a great reward at the Lord’s return.
Therefore, arise today to begin to labor diligently or faithfully in God’s Kingdom according to the grace of God which you have received.
Paul admonishes us to serve God with the unique divine abilities that He has given us.
Romans 12:6-8 – NKJV
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (NKJV).
Beloved, the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you today to arise and occupy till He comes!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the unique gift You have given me. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to discover, develop and deploy this gift for God’s glory and for the growth and edification of the body of Christ on earth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.