Parable of the Ten Gold Coins

Luke 19:11-28
2 Mc 7:1.20-31 / Ps 17

. . . from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
(Luke 19: 26)

Thank God for talents we received,
And His Word we’ve come to believe.
May these talents lead us to give
More worth in each day that we live.

They were nearing Jerusalem, where the Jews were hoping a new kingdom would be established if Jesus was truly the Messiah. Thus, Jesus told them this parable about a nobleman who went abroad to receive a kingdom and then return: Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten gold coins, and said to them, ‘Invest these till I return.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ Upon his return with the kingship, he summoned the servants that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your money has made ten additional ones.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your gold coins have made 5 more.’ And he said to him, ‘Come rule over five cities.’ But one came saying, ‘Lord, here is your gold coin, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘Your own words have condemned you, you wicked servant! If you knew I was a severe man, then why did you not put my money in the bank, and I could have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the gold coin from him, and give it to him who has the ten. I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.’” And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Reflection

Jesus told this parable to illustrate four kinds of people. The first two are His true and faithful servants who make good use of the gifts He has entrusted to them, each according to his capabilities. The third type are the unreliable followers, those who just “come along for the ride” but are sadly lacking in any personal commitment or even initiative. The last kind are the worst of the lot, who reject Him as their Master, and even conspire against Him. These deserve the most severe punishment.

I believe our Lord taught this parable not so much for the benefit of His apostles and closest followers, (who gained authority over cities), nor for His enemies, (the scribes, pharisees and high priests), who rejected Him. His lesson was intended for the great masses of people who are uncommitted or lukewarm, or for some reason are afraid to take the leap of faith. Jesus seems to be telling them: “From him who has no faith, even the little that he has will be taken away.” Most Christians belong to this “third category” of Christ’s servants, who fill up His churches on Sundays and holy days of obligation, but are mostly ignorant about His Word. Their idea of God is a Severe Disciplinarian Whose rules and statutes must be strictly followed, but Whose Good News of salvation is “kept laid away” like their unopened Bible, gathering dust on a shelf. God has given each one of us a ‘gold coin’ or gift that we can use in propagating His kingdom here on earth. He does not expect that we can multiply His capital in our life five or ten times over. But at least let us give back to Him some “interest” for His investment, lest we lose our most precious possession.

Thank You, Father God, for Your gift of faith. May we use the talent that You have given us to propagate Your Good News in our community and places of work. Amen.

4 Responses to “Parable of the Ten Gold Coins”

  1. joanne  on November 16th, 2010

    I need to understand 2 things in the parable of 10 gold coins: first, what kind of man deserves to be king if he doesn’t plant what he harvests; and second, why did he have to slay all the people who did not want him to be king? Does this have to do with blind obedience?
    Thanks for your guidance
    Joanne

  2. edgardo lucena  on November 17th, 2010

    Hi Joanne,

    I’m Ed from the Phils. I hope it’s alright to respond to your question on the parable of the 10 Gold Coins.

    Jesus talks in parable to help us (audience) to really think about the words He has spoken and not just assume it incorrectly as what most of us always do when we hear some spoken words. He wanted us to ask questions so we can better understand. The Gold coins represents the gifts He has given us to propagate his Kingdom here on earth. He has created us to help spread the faith around by doing things which is good in his eyes like sharing our wealth, helping people in need, joining outreach program to help the poor and many other things that you can think of. It’s the sharing of either your Time, Talent or Treasure, or the 3 T’s as we call it. Any one of which you will share is always welcome to Him.

    If you share more, and gain more by doing his will, more will be given back to you.This means the more you sow, the more you will reap.

    The last part when He said “Slay them before me” is rather a strong and severe punishment to those who contradict Him because he said in Luke 11:23- Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters (NAB).

    The enemies of good is always evil and He will not have second thoughts to slay all the evil makers in this world unless they repent. After all, our God is a merciful God.

    Please visit my Bible sharing online at edlucena.blogspot.com. You might want to share your reflection on the gospel reading that I post
    daily. And you can also ask questions if you want. Thank you for reading my reflection.

    May God bless you more than you can ever imagine.

    Regards,

    Ed

  3. theferriswheel  on January 4th, 2011

    Hi, I have read the above comments and I have some queries for you to help me understand more of the parable.
    Firstly, do you therefore mean that the 4th person is punished for helping god or the nobleman to reserve what he has?
    Secondly, if yes so why is God wanting us as his follower making or giving him something in return? Isn’t the whole thing about doing something and not asking anything back in return ?
    Thirdly, the whole meaning of the parable is that if you don’t give something back in return you then will be punished?
    Thankyou

  4. Doug0724  on January 15th, 2011

    Theferriswheel,

    I’m new at this but here goes…

    1 – The fourth category of people are those that despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce “We do not want this man to be our king.” They are those of today’s society who do not follow God.

    2 – We the followers of Christ are the ones who should give and ask for nothing in return. God is asking us to do something, but don’t think of it as an obsticle so much as an oppertunity to help others. Helping those who need to hear the Good News, or those who need help in other ways, will make you feel great.

    3 – The meaning of the parable is that God gave everyone their own unique gifts. In return for those blessings, we as servants need to make use of those gifts for the profit of the world. If you are good at doing math, be an engineer for an example. It is important to live out your faith in many ways, one of which is to be a productive worker. Another more important way is spread the Good News by word of mouth. Encourage your family and friends to go to church with you. Try to get people to be “born again.” This seems like a more obvious interpretation because you can think of yourself as a coin. With that coin (you) you can yield ten additional coins (convertees, born again Christians, etc.)

    Anyways, this is my interpretation of it, and I hope its right.

    Doug