Parable of the Ten ‘Minas’

Luke 19: 11-28
Rv 4: 1-11 / Psa 150

. . . from him who has nothing, 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.

While they were listening He went on to tell them a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A nobleman went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, so that when I came back, I could have collected the interest?’ Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ After Jesus had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. (Luke 19:11-28)

Reflection

It is possible that Jesus was referring to Himself as the nobleman in this parable. His kingdom was in a “distant country”, and when He came back, His followers would have to give an account of His “investment” in their lives. But this parable was also meant to illustrate three 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 second 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 third kind are the worst of the lot, who reject Him as their Master, and even conspire against Him. These deserve the most severe punishment.

Our Lord taught this parable not only for the benefit of His apostles and followers, but for future generations of Christians who are still 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 people belong to this “third category” of Christ’s servants, who fill up His churches on Sundays and holy days of obligation, but are practically 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.

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