The Hero of Luke’s Gospel did indeed come to establish a new Kingdom on Earth, but it was not at all the type of kingdom the people of Israel were expecting. While the stories of this passage may be very familiar to many people, (the blind man healed, Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and the parable of the ten minas) their context and purpose may not be so. I believe these two stories are placed at this point in the story to draw a stark contrast to what was about to happen in Jerusalem. The people were expecting Jesus to march into Jerusalem as a valiant hero and take over the place, establishing a physical Kingdom on Earth. Everyone was secretly jockeying for positions of power and influence in this new political order. Jesus was disturbed by this short-sidedness and materialistic perspective. So, as He nears the city, He demonstrates the true nature of His Kingdom. A poor blind man reaches out to Him in sincere faith, and Jesus heals him. The Kingdom of God on Earth. A short, wretched man — a tax collector — sincerely seeks Jesus in humility and Jesus comes into his house to bring about true repentence in his heart. The Kingdom of God on Earth. Jesus Kingdom is not about power or prestige or politics, not in the sense that we see all around us. Jesus’ Kingdom is about truth, repentence, humility, reconciliation, and service to God.
The story of these two men provides a nice summary of all the difficult teaching that Jesus had been dishing out over the preceding chapters. Then, as a final word of caution to His followers, He gives them a parable to keep them focused. He said that the Kingdom would not come right away in the physical sense that they were expecting. In fact, He was going to physically leave them to “work the field” so that the Kingdom of God might grow. He was going to leave each of them with responsibilities (minas) and expected that they would not get distracted by the things of this world but would work for the purposes of the Kingdom and show an increase when He returns.
That is our charge today. The King is still in a far country. We are left to work the soil, we each have a handful of minas that we have been given. When the Hero, the King, returns, what will we have to offer Him? Will we have used what He has given us to the fullest potential, or will we have buried them in a hole, swayed by the public opinion of our hero and afraid that His Kingdom would not be worth serving?
The Kingdom is real. The gift of the Holy Spirit is available to you, God has graciously poured it out on anyone who would sincerely seek it. The Spirit will enable you to serve in humility, to step out in faith without fear. God loves you and wants to see you flourish in His Kingdom. He wants to return and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”