The Interplay Of The Present And Future In The Kingdom Of God (Luke 19:11-44) -- By: Laurie Guy

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 48:1 (NA 1997)
Article: The Interplay Of The Present And Future In The Kingdom Of God (Luke 19:11-44)
Author: Laurie Guy

The Interplay Of The Present And
Future In The Kingdom Of God
(Luke 19:11-44)

Laurie Guy


The article argues that Luke has crafted Luke 19:11-44 to signal presentness as well as futurity in relation to the kingdom of God. The temporal reference of the parable in Luke 19:12-27 is not to be governed by verse 11 alone. Material in Luke 19:12-27 that is not in the equivalent Matthean parable has significant literary connection with subsequent material in verses 28-44. This subsequent material highlights the presentness of Jesus’ kingship. What this shows is that Luke has subtly but carefully presented the kingdom of God as both present and future in the section under discussion.

I. Introduction

At first sight the function of 19:11 in Luke’s narrative seems quite clear: ‘As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.’ The verse appears to provide the interpretative key to the immediately following parable, indicating that the kingdom is to be understood in terms of futurity and delay.

Closer analysis, however, reveals that this is only part of Luke’s message. The parable and its introduction in v. 11 need to be read in the light of Jesus’ subsequent entry into Jerusalem. This following material establishes a presentness to the kingdom to counter-balance the futurity of v. 11 and its parable. The literary connections between the parable and the description of Jesus’ entry

indicate that Luke’s juxtaposition is deliberate.1 Through it he has created a richness of meaning which an exclusively futuristic understanding of the passage does not permit.

II. Literary Interconnection In 19:11-44 As An Explanation Of Difficulties In 19:12-27

The parable that follows 19:11 is fraught with difficulty. Clearly there are awkward joins in the story, most obviously between vv. 26 and 27. Much, h...

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