May 26, 2020 – Tuesday – After Memorial Day
In taking Memorial Day off, I decided to deviate for a few days and share some information discovered during Bible studies that I hope you will find as fascinating as I did. A quick note, much of the information was not something I discovered and brought to a particular Bible study, but was from other participants. ENJOY !!!
Verses from Why I love Bible Studies (Part 1 of 3)
Luke 19:11-14 NIV
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.’
The comments today are not about the verses so much as the story behind the verses and the parable. Jesus intention using the parable to speak to His disciples of His impending departure when the Pharisees would not want Him as King. However, He would be returning as King in full glory when He would return to claim His kingdom.
What I discovered from the Bible study and my own notes – using two sources: David Guzik and John MacArthur was the following historical information that would make the parable and especially verse fourteen very relevant in the eyes of all of those listening to Him and to those who would be told about the parable, in particular the Pharisees.
Guzik’s commentary notes that The following parable is rich in historical allusions. “The Saviour probably derived the details of this parable from the actual history of Archelaus, the son of Herod, who after his father’s death went to Rome to receive the sovereignty over part of his father’s kingdom in accordance with the intentions of his father’s testament. Its confirmation by the Roman emperor was necessary, because Herod’s empire in reality formed part of the Roman Empire. A Jewish deputation at that time also went to Rome to dispute Archelaus’s claim to kingship, but the emperor nonetheless appointed him as ruler (though not as a full sovereign king) over half of his father’s kingdom.” (Geldenhuys)
MacArthur’s commentary has much the same information, but notes in reference to verse fourteen, This is precisely what happened to Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, when he went to Rome to be made tetrarch of Judea. A delegation of Jews traveled to Rome with a protest to Caesar Augustus. He refused their complaint and made Archelaus king anyway. Archelaus subsequently built his palace in Jericho, not far from where Jesus told this parable. Archelaus’s rule was so inept and despotic that Rome quickly replace him with a succession of procurators, of whom Pontius Pilate was the fifth. With this parable, Jesus warned that the Jews were about to do the same thing, in a spiritual sense, to their true Messiah.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible add the following details The Jews, knowing his [Archelaus] character, sent an embassy of 50 men to Rome, to prevail on Augustus “not” to confer the title on him, but they could not succeed. He “received” the kingdom, and reigned in Judea in the place of his father. As this fact was “fresh” in the memory of the Jews, it makes this parable much more striking. By this part of it Christ designed to denote that the Jews would reject “him” – the Messiah, and would say that they did not desire him to reign over them.
Ellicott’s Commentary makes it clear that it was not just the Jews who would reject Jesus when he wrote That which answers to it in the inner meaning of the parable is the unwillingness of the Jews—or, taking a wider view of the interpretation, of mankind at large—to accept the law of Christ or acknowledge His sovereignty. This is made clear in John’s gospel when in John 1:11 he wrote He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Or as Barnes further notes So it is true of all sinners that they do not “wish” Jesus to reign over them, and, if it were possible, would cast him off, and never submit to his reign.
If you want to find out why a contingent of 50 Jews, along with his half brother Herod Antipas, went to Rome to oppose Archelaus rule go here and read what Josephus’ historical accounts recorded.
I hope I have whetted your appetite for Bible studies and the in-depth information you can discover therein.
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton