Ten Minas


Luke 19:11-27
As they were listening to this, Jesus went on to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and because the people thought that the kingdom of God would appear immediately. So he said, “A prince went to a distant country to be appointed king and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to them, ‘Invest this money until I come back.’

But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation to follow him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us!’

“After he was appointed king, he came back. He ordered the servants to whom he had given the money to be called so that he could find out what they had made by investing.

The first servant came and said, ‘Sir, your coin has earned ten more coins.’ The king said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’

“The second servant came and said, ‘Your coin, sir, has earned five coins.’ The king said to him, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

“Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, look! Here’s your coin. I’ve kept it in a cloth for safekeeping because I was afraid of you. You are a hard man. You withdraw what you didn’t deposit and harvest what you didn’t plant.’ The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you evil servant! You knew, did you, that I was a hard man, and that I withdraw what I didn’t deposit and harvest what I didn’t plant? Then why didn’t you put my money in the bank? When I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’

“So the king told those standing nearby, ‘Take the coin away from him and give it to the man who has the ten coins.’ They answered him, ‘Sir, he already has ten coins!’ ‘I tell you, to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.

But as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king-bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!'”

Possible Points of Jesus
      1. Jesus used a historical incident as the basis for His parable
        1. “Apparently this parable has the historical basis of Archelaus who actually went from Jerusalem to Rome on this very errand to get a kingdom in Palestine and to come back to it. This happened while Jesus was a boy in Nazareth and it was a matter of common knowledge.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures)
        2. “The historical background for the parable was the visit of Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, to Rome to secure permission to reign as a so-called client king, i.e., over a territory actually subject to Rome. This petition was opposed by a delegation of Archelaus’ own subjects.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
      2. In the parable, then…
        1. A nobleman is going away to receive for himself a kingdom and to return
        2. He calls ten of his servants…
          1. Giving them each one “mina” (about three month’s wages, whereas in “The Talents” one talent would take an ordinary laborer twenty years to earn)
          2. Telling them “Do business till I come”
        3. There are citizens who send a delegation to express their displeasure with having the nobleman reign over them
        4. Having received the kingdom, the nobleman returns…
          1. He calls for his servants and asks for an accounting
            1. One servant earned ten minas, and was rewarded with authority over ten cities
            2. Another earned five minas, and was granted authority over five cities
            3. Another simply returned his original mina which angered the nobleman, who then gave the one mina to him who earned ten
            4. An objection is raised by some standing by, but is answered by the nobleman
          2. The enemies who did not want the nobleman to reign over them are killed
      1. It explains how the kingdom of God would not appear immediately
        1. The Lord would be going away to receive His kingdom
        2. This He did when He ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God – cf. Ac 2:30-36; Ep 1:20-23; 1Pe 3:22; Dan 7:13-14
        3. While His reign began (cf. Re 1:5; 17:14), it would not be readily apparent
      2. It portrays the rejection of the Lord’s reign
        1. There are many who do not wish to submit to the authority of the Lord
        2. It was prophesied that the Messiah’s rule would be “in the midst of Your enemies” – Ps 110:1-2
        3. Such rejection does not mean His reign has not yet begun!
      3. It reveals the role of a disciple between the Lord’s departure and His return
        1. The disciple is to be productive (“Do business until I come”)
        2. The disciple is to be faithful while awaiting the return of his King
      4. It describes the reckoning that awaits all Christians
        1. A reckoning which takes into consideration our service
        2. A reckoning in which some are blessed and others are not
      5. It alludes to the punishment awaiting those who do not submit to the King
        1. As mentioned before, some do not wish to have Christ as king
        2. When He returns, it will be to render judgment upon them – cf. 2Th 1:7-9
      1. The kingdom will spread despite Satan’s efforts, and it is both present and future (“The Wheat And The Tares”)
      2. It would start small, but spread throughout the earth (“The Mustard Seed”)
      3. It’s influence may not be readily apparent, but it grows throughout the earth (“The Leaven”)
      4. It’s growth may be beyond our ability to comprehend, but it is directly related to the seed, i.e., the Word (“The Growing Seed”)
      5. It’s value is great, whether we find it after a long search (“The Pearl Of Great Price”), or happen to stumble upon it (“The Hidden Treasure”)
      6. The spread of the kingdom draws in many, but the wicked will be separated from the just (“The Dragnet”)
      7. The kingdom will be taken from those who should have received it, and given to those who will appreciate it (“The Wicked Vinedressers”, “The Wedding Feast”, “The Barren Fig Tree”, and “The Great Supper”)
      1. Those with ears to hear, having good and noble hearts, will bear the sort of fruit intended by the word of the kingdom (“The Sower”)
      2. Those instructed in the ways of the kingdom have treasure both old and new (“The Householder”)
      3. They are merciful, as God is merciful (“The Unforgiving Servant”)
      4. They are free from a mercenary spirit in their service (“The Laborers In The Vineyard”)
      5. They do the will of the Father (“The Two Sons”)
      6. They prepare themselves for the Lord’s return, and are watchful (“The Wise And Foolish Virgins”)
      7. They are productive while they await their Lord’s return (“The Talents” and “The Minas”)
      8. Their gratitude for salvation is related to the understanding of their forgiveness (“The Debtors”)
      9. They love their neighbor, helping those in need (“The Good Samaritan”)
      10. They are persistent in their prayers (“The Friend At Midnight” and “The Persistent Widow”)
      11. They are aware that one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions (“The Rich Fool”)
      12. They are humble, both in their relations with others (“Taking The Lowest Place”) and in their prayers to God (“The Pharisee and The Tax Collector”)
      13. They make proper use of material things (“The Unjust Steward”) knowing that now is the time to make things right with God (“The Rich Man And Lazarus”)
      14. Yet through it all, they know they are not worthy of the grace received, they have simply done that which was their duty to do (“The Unprofitable Servants”)
      1. We know of the great love He has for the lost, and how heaven rejoices when they are saved (“The Lost Sheep” and “The Lost Coin”)
      2. We know how quick His Heavenly Father is to receive us unto Himself when we return with a repentant heart (“The Prodigal Son”)
        — Yet many of the parables also reveal the King to be one Who will one day call us into judgment to give an account for our service!
    1. What wonderful lessons we learn from our Lord as we consider His parables!
      1. They involve things that many prophets and righteous men desired to hear, but did not hear – Mt 13:16-17
      2. We have truly been privileged to know “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”! – Mt 13:10-11
    2. What shall we do with what we have learned?
      1. When Jesus first began teaching in parables, He taught the importance of utilizing what we have been given – cf. Mt 13:12
      2. Even in the last parable we have considered in this lesson, He made the same point once again – cf. Lk 19:26
        — Will we be found faithful in our use of what we have been given by Christ in His parables?

Recommended reading for further study: