The Lord was at Jericho, on His way to Jerusalem for the final time. He brought salvation to Zacchaeus, and has re-stated his mission to earth for the large crowds gathering. (v.10)
While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
- Crowds are pressing around Him. In response to their thinking (the kingdom is imminent), He taught a story.
“A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘do business with this until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying ‘we do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these servants to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.”
- He was going away. After a prolonged absence, He will return. He will lay down His life, defeat sin and death, then go to the Father and receive His kingdom.
- Prior to departure, He gave each servant the same trust, one mina, approx. 4 months wages. Not enormous, but sufficient. He commands them to do business with it, and get on with life and their responsibilities.
- While similar, this story is distinct from the parable of the Talents (Matt 25), in which the servants were distributed varying talents/differing responsibilities.
- This story refers to our common and equal obligation, the gospel. The gospel makes us one (Gal 3:28), joint heirs with Christ. Our handling and use of the gospel is a serious stewardship matter with the Lord.
“The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, “well done, good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ The second came, saying, “Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘and you are to be over five cities.'”
- He will return, and summon His servants to account for this stewardship. One gained 10. Another gained 5. Both were rewarded with vast kingdom authority, far beyond any accounting of their actual stewardship.
“Another came saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘by your own words I will judge you, you worthless servant. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’
- This servant slanders His Lord, degrades Him as a harsh, vindictive fraud, who gains wealth by plundering, but never working for anything.
- The Lord does not acknowledge or agree with the servant’s accusation, but throws his words back at him in judgment. If the servant really believed what He said, he would have acted differently.
- The unfaithful servant made no attempt to do anything with the trust given to him.
“Then he said to the bystanders, ‘take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ And they said to him, “Master, he has ten minas.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
- The faithless servant was exposed as a fraud, and stripped of his trust.
- The Lord ends with a shocking and sobering warning to those who reject His Lordship.
- It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:31)
Application for the church:
If we invest the kingdom in people and release them to conduct kingdom work, then expect God to send us more…..people.
If we hoard and collect people, hold onto them as a possession of the church, then expect God to hollow us out.
-Can you concisely explain / describe the gospel? And why it matters?
-Are you prepared to share your God story? To those who ask the reason for your hope and joy.