Luke 19:11–28 (NKJV)
After the encounter with Zacchaeus, Jesus told a parable of servants who were given the same amount of money to invest for the master. When he returned, an accounting was required.
11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’Luke 19:11–28
15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ” 28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Jesus addressed an eschatological misunderstanding of the people with this parable encouraging Jesus’ followers to work for the kingdom until He comes again. In this story, the master goes to a foreign land to receive a kingdom. This has end-times ramifications, pointing to a kingdom to come. In the meantime, the master instructs his servants to take what he left them and do something with it. In the story, he left them a mina, which was roughly three months wages. The amount is simply for convenience, not to signify a specific amount left to Christians in Jesus’ absence today. While he was gone, the servants were to do business with the mina and then return the profits to the master. One servant earned a profit and returned ten minas to the master, another five, and a third only returned the one mina. The one who did not do business and did not make a profit was punished by being stripped of his mina. It was given to the servant who had ten. He then ordered the servants who rebelled against him destroyed.
This is a very clear message to anyone who heard it. Jesus was going away to heaven to receive and prepare a kingdom for His followers. He left us with a commission to complete, and will one day come again to judge the quick and the dead. At that time, what we have done for Him will be revealed and rewards will be given. What are you doing for the Lord with what He left you?
Artwork by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsIr6h281XE