“Now as they heard these things, He [Jesus] spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: ‘A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, “Do business till I come.” But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” 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.’” Luke 19:11-15.
A mina was the equivalent of 3 months wages. Notice the enormity of the reward for dealing responsibly with such a pitiful sum of money!
“Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’” Luke 19:16-19.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10.
The mina represents the Christian life each one of us is given when we receive Jesus as our savior, the payment for all of our sins. What we do with that life and the gifts that go along with it during our lifetime matters.
If we live for Christ during our lifetime here on earth, studying the Bible, being in prayer for others, telling others about Him, whether they accept Him or not, if we are faithful to Him, we will receive a reward.
“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos [you] watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he [we] who plants and he who waters are one, and each one [you and I] will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-8.
The diligence with which we study the word of God, use the word of God in our lives, and our own capabilities, which God can increase if we ask Him and depend on His leading, will determine our success and rewards.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6.
“Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 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. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’” Luke 19:20-23.
Here is yet another Christian no less than the others, but his response to the instructions, “Do business till I come.” is very different from the other two.
His own ignorance and fears choke out the gospel and he hides the gift that God has given him to use in a handkerchief and gains nothing eternal from it.
His excuse is the same for many Christians and nearly all non-Christians, God is austere and unreachable, collecting from people things that He had not given them, and reaping from them things He had not sown in their hearts.
But God judges people not because He did not give the truth to them, but because they reject the message.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-6.
The beauty and complexity of the heavens and the earth, which speak in every language of man, defy the foolishness of worshipping the moon, stars, evolution, or any other idol, or the belief that God is anything but a compassionate loving God.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress [hold down] the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be know of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…” Romans 1:18-22.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11.
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:7-8.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
“But there were also false prophets among the people [the Jews], even as there will be false teachers among you [Christians], who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Nor does God reap things He did not sow in people’s hearts.
“For so the Lord has commanded us [the apostles]: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 13:47.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.’” Romans 10:17-18.
God is not like an austere man collecting where He did not deposit and reaping what He did not sow. This is the mythology of the red faced angry God who cannot wait to get the Christian up into heaven so He can pound the table and scream as spittle runs down His white beard.
People are not just willfully ignorant when they reject the gospel of Jesus Christ out of hand. They suppress the truth in unrighteousness when they reject Him without reading any of His words in the Bible. Ignorance is not bliss; it is the highway to hell!
So the lazy unproductive Christian will not only suffer loss, they will have squandered an opportunity that will never happen again.
There is only one time in all of eternity for the believer to serve God in complete faith, and that is right here and right now, once we stand before Him in heaven faith will become sight and the opportunity will be gone forever.
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
Christian, take heed of these warnings, this is serious business, you will spend eternity in heaven, but it is possible to start that journey with many regrets.
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 2:28.
The nobleman condemns the unprofitable servant for his lazy and irresponsible actions for not doing even the least of things such as putting the mina in the bank to receive interest, and he now metes out the punishment.
“And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 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.” Luke 19:24-26.
This is a difficult passage to understand, and the following is only my interpretation, but please consider it carefully.
Before we start this, it might be good to realize that the ten and five cities that the first two servants receive as rewards may not be literal cities, but rather illustrations of the enormity of the rewards to be had in heaven for even the simplest of things done here on earth for the Lord.
Though this man was unfaithful in his use of the gift of the mina, he was not cast out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth as was the case of the man who buried the talent in Matthew 25:14-30. This tells us that the minas where given to Christians.
The master has the mina taken from the unprofitable servant and given to the man with ten. How is that even possible? The mina here represents the gifts Christians are given to accomplish God’s plans on earth.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
But this last person is not using his gift for God at all. A person who is not using his gift will be living a worldly life, even though they may go to church, yet if they are not seeking God’s will for their life, church will do them very little good.
Under these circumstances a person ceases to grow. When this happens their knowledge begins to fade, even to the point of this individual beginning to believe false doctrine or fairy tales.
When Christians begin to assimilate the ways of the world they become ignorant, which increases the burden on the ones who study and serve the Lord with a whole heart, increasing their reward in the end.
“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.” Luke 19:26.
Are you a teacher or student of the word of God; do not let the world distract you from your goal. If you are distracted too much, you may lose the things that you have because of disuse.
“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew 19:30.
In verse 14 of this parable Jesus prophesied of the nation’s rejection of Him, their Messiah.
“But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’” Luke 19:14.
The last verse of this parable concerns the prophecy of what happened to Israel about forty years later.
“But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19:27.
This prophecy was actually fulfilled when Titus and the Roman legions besieged Jerusalem in 70 A.D. They sacked the city; tore down the temple block by block, killed about one million Jews, and sent thousands into slavery.
The Romans did not do this to fulfill any prophecy, but because the Jews were a rebellious lot and continually provoked the Romans until they took these desperate measures to punish them. Even the ungodly fulfill the word of God.
“Not that I [Apostle Paul] have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.
3 Months Wages, Part 2 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 1-30-16, updated on 11-25-19.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.