Parable of the Gold Coins


Luke 19: 11-28
2 Mc 7:1,20-31 / Psa 17

. . . to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
(Luke 19:26)

For all the gifts we have received
We, His servants are accountable;
Don’t be complacent, or deceived,
We will all be held responsible.

While they were listening to this, He went on to tell them a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there soon. He said: “A nobleman went to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins. ‘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 gold coin has earned ten more.’ His master told him, ‘Well done, my good servant!. Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned five more.’ His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then one servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; 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, did you, 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 put my money in the bank, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his gold coin from him and give it to the one who has ten.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have 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

This long parable of the gold coins is all about accountability. Jesus had just opened the eyes of both the poor (the blind beggar) and the rich (Zacchaeus), who had both been transformed and were now followers of Jesus. Like the nobleman in His parable, our Lord had given them both a “gold coin” (their faith), and it was now their turn to make it productive. The parable was also given for the benefit of His apostles, who had received much more (His lessons), and like the nobleman in His parable, He would be leaving them soon as He entered Jerusalem to fulfill His mission. They were tasked to be more fruitful (“To everyone who has, more will be given”), unlike so many of the Jews who only listened but never acted on His Word (“… even what they have will be taken away”). But the worst for His enemies (the scribes and Pharisees), who refused to acknowledge His kingship. They would lose everything (eternal life).

St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians said his prayer was for their love to “increase ever more in knowledge and perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ Jesus for the glory and praise of God” (Phil.1:9-11). He himself demonstrated whereof he spoke in his mission to spread the faith all over the world. In effect, it is God’s love that prods us to develop spiritually, be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and invest His “gold coin” in the marketplace of hungry souls. True servants of Christ cannot stand still in their faith, and just hide their gold coin safely. It’s either we grow and be fruitful, or we wither and die. As the psalmist wrote, we are “like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers” (Psa 1:3).

How much of our “gold coins” have we invested to gain eternal life? Or what is the amount of time, talent and treasure that we have invested in this temporal life on earth in proportion to our “treasure in heaven”? This is the question that we, who claim to be Christian believers must face and answer. And please, be honest about it.

A treasure trove You have provided for us, Father God, in Your Word, the Bible. May the lessons that we learn in it, especially the Gospel teachings of our Lord Jesus make us grow more fruitful in the struggle to win the marketplace for Him, and for the glory of Your kingdom. Amen.

Comments are closed.