“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” (Luke 19:12 KJV)
Jesus told us the story from His perspective, and He began by presenting the Gospel in a single sentence—”A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.” This sentence touches on several foundational truths of the Christian Faith. Let me explain.
The word certain means “unique and distinct”, as in “only begotten Son.” There has never been, nor will there ever be any other man like Jesus of Nazareth. He was born of a Virgin, without sin in any way. This is certain.
The Bible says, “God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus is God’s only Son. Therefore, Jesus is man’s only Savior. As one preacher said, “Christ is not one of many ways to God, nor is he the best of several ways. He is the only way.”
Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me.” Christ is the way unchanging; He is the truth infallible; He is the life everlasting. Jesus is the way that you might be saved. He is the truth that you might be sure. He is the life that you might be satisfied.
Far from being narrow and unfair, this is the most generous and fairest of all possible solutions. God did not leave us to ourselves to find a way back to Him, for who among us knows where God is that we could first find Him for ourselves, and then chart the path for all others to follow?
God alone knows where He is. God alone knows where we are. And God alone knows what it takes for us to return to Him. The Bible says that God “longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth: that God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind” (1 Tim.2:4-6, Living Bible).
The word nobleman speaks of the sinless life this certain man lived among us. He was tempted in all points like us, yet without sin. Never once—in thought, word, or deed—did Jesus ever sin. This uniquely qualifies Him to be the perfect sacrifice for sinners. Having no sins of His own to die for, His death on the cross now covers all of our sins!
His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven are all included in the words “went to a distant country” — for that is how the Nobleman passed from this earth into Heaven.
Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He is there in heaven even now doing just that. And while there He “ever lives to make intercession” (Heb.7:25). In other words, He loves to pray for you as He sits at His Father’s right hand.
The Nobleman went to a far country “to receive a kingdom for himself.” This is clearly referring to the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord. For “God has given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (see Phil.2:9-11).
And, last but not least, the phrase “and then return” assures us of the hope of all Ages—the Second Coming of Christ!
As already stated, it is the Gospel in a single sentence! “A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.” But there is more to this story. The Serpent is at work stirring up hatred for this Nobleman.
We will look at this tomorrow.