Sermon

The Parable of the Ten Minas (Luke 19:11-27)

In our sermon today, Jesus has just taught about His mission “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Some believed that when Jesus entered Jerusalem the kingdom of God would appear immediately, but Jesus knew He must first go to the Father and then return later.  For this reason Jesus “proceeded to tell a parable” (11) of a nobleman and his servants and citizens.  The nobleman gave ten servants each one mina[1].  The nobleman left and instructed his servants to “engage in business until I come” (13).  When he returned he called his servants to him “that he might know what they had gained by doing business” (15).  Our sermon shall focus on three groups of people that appear before the nobleman.

The Reward

The first group is represented by the first and second servants.  The first replied, “Lord, your mina has made ten minas more” (16).  The second replied, “Lord, your mina has made five minas” (18).  The nobleman commends the faithful servants and rewards them in accordance with their faithfulness.  The first servant is given “authority over ten cities” (17) and the second servant is “to be over five cities” (19).  What can we learn from this group?

The Master is Worthy. This group considers the nobleman to be worthy.  They call him Lord and they prove their allegiance to him by obeying his commands.  Jesus told this parable to instruct His servants that He is worthy of their allegiance and respect and there should be no other master in their life.  Luke 10:27 records Jesus saying: “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”

The Task is Worthwhile.  They were told to engage in business and they did.  The first gained ten more and the second gained five more.  They were entrusted with a task and they invested themselves into it.  Jesus told this parable to instruct His servants that His task is worthwhile and His task/mission should be the most important mission. In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

The Reward is Great.  The faithful servants were rewarded for their faithfulness.  Their reward was in accordance with their faithfulness but it also far exceeded their works.  Because they were with a mina they can now be trusted with a city.  It is as Jesus said in Luke 16:10: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

The Rebuke

The second group is represented by the third servant. He replied, “Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow” (20-21). The nobleman rebuked the unfaithful servant and said, “I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant…why did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest? (23). Then said: “Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas” (24).

The Master is Unworthy. The servant, like the other two, called him Lord but he disobeyed the master’s instructions. This servant was told to “engage in business until I come” (13) but refused out of fear. This servant did not consider his master to be worthy and called him “a severe man” (21).  Jesus mentions this servant as a warning to those who call themselves Christians but have little to no love for Christ.  Your actions demonstrate your love and whether or not you think Christ is worthy.

The Task is Burdensome.  The fact that the servant had the mina “kept laid away in a handkerchief” (20) not only indicates that he considered the master to be unworthy but the task to be burdensome.  This servant was disobedient with the mina and—by his admission—indicated that he thought there were more important tasks to engage in.

The Reward is Gone.  The mina was taken away from the unfaithful servant.

The Retribution

The third group is represented by “his citizens/enemies” (14/27).  These people “hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us’” (14).  The nobleman ordered his enemies to be brought to him and slaughtered (27).

The Master is Back.  This group fought against the rule of the nobleman and sought to avoid his kingship.  They hated him and received the punishment for their rebellion when the master returned.

The Judgment is Real. When the nobleman returned as king, this group was judged most severely.  These enemies were slaughtered before the king as judgment for their rebellion.

[1] A mina was about three months’ wages for an average worker.