As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 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 mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
Comment: Initially I had a problem reading this passage. We will continue the last few verses tomorrow. My problem was this, the mixture of plural and single words for mina(s). Initially it sounds as if they all got ten of them and then when he returns they all talk about mina in the singular. Then I remembered the trouble one of my adopted sons had when he came to Australia. In his country for money you didn’t use the plural – no matter if one or a million, it was just ‘birr’. Initially, here in Australia, no matter how many dollars, he would say ‘dollar’, never ‘dollars’. So, I guess there may have been such a custom there. In certainly sounds as if they all got the same but the end result was very different. For one ten made ten; for one ten made five; for one ten made nothing because he was fearful of making a loss.
Being a parable – that is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning – the Master represents God. And the lesson taught, is that God expects the talents He gives each of us to be used. Even though we get different gifts, although in the story they each got the same. Jesus has gone away but will return and will ask from each of us an accounting of what we’ve done. Look up the passages on judgement in the Bible. It is absolutely essential to have a relationship with Jesus but that is the beginning. That relationship is a heaven or hell issue! Then there will be a time for all of us to give an account of our usage of what He has given us. He will return one day.
Prayer: Help me to see, and fully use, the gifts with which you have gifted me.