Today I was reading in Luke 19. In this chapter, there is the parable of the minas. This is similar to the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25, but has several differences. If you’re interested, you can go search out the differences and what they mean. For today, I am going to stick with what I learned.
While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ “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, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. “The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ “And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ “And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ “Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ “He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? ‘Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest ?’ “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ “And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ “I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have,even what he does have shall be taken away. “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
The first thing I noticed is that Jesus recognized that the disciples still had the wrong idea about the Kingdom in their minds. They were on their way to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus was very popular and the disciples thought that when they got to Jerusalem, they were going to see the Kingdom of God come down! Knowing what was in their hearts, He told a parable to help them understand the true Kingdom.
The next thing I noticed was that the citizens hated the nobleman, who represents Jesus. It saddened me to read that statement. Here He was talking about the Jews who would reject Him, but it applies to America today. There was a time in our country when you were odd if you didn’t go to church and worship God. There was a time when people who took the name of the Lord in vain were scorned. Now those who love Jesus and are seeking to walk in complete obedience to His Word are called religious fanatics. Later in the chapter Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because they missed the Truth and rejected Him. I don’t often weep over the country, but if my heart is in line with His, I will weep with Him.
Despite this rejection by the citizens, Jesus leaves His servants in the kingdom to carry out His work. The first two servants return to Him with more than He gave them to begin. If the citizens hated the nobleman, they probably didn’t care much for the servants, either. I imagine that these two who walked in obedience were persecuted in some way for being his servants. Yet, they still walked in obedience. They knew the master well enough to walk by faith. The third one cowered in fear. He knew that the nobleman was “an exacting man,” but he didn’t know Him well enough to know that He desired the servant to do something for Him — not just run and hide! Perhaps fear of the local citizens also helped in paralyzing this man’s faith. We don’t know. We do know that he was afraid. And that what he had was taken and given to the faithful.
This parable illustrates the coming Kingdom and the Judgement, but I want to hang on this one point about cowering in fear. Because I find myself there far too often. In this case, the servant did not grow the nobleman’s kingdom. How do we grow Jesus’ Kingdom? By spreading the Gospel. Standing for Truth. Equipping and teaching others so that they may spread the Gospel. So often I get caught up in my fear — fear of not doing something right, fear of being scorned by others, fear of making someone mad, fear of not being good enough. I’m sure I could go on. But when I truly know Jesus and rest in His character and His promises, I have nothing to fear. When I have a proper fear of Him, I have nothing to fear!
He is the Creator! He is all-powerful! He is Sovereign! He is good! He is love! There is nothing outside of His knowledge or control. And He desires the best for me. He promises to work good for me. He promises to guide me. He promises so much that I could sit here for days just writing out His promises! So of what should I be afraid? NOTHING!
Oh if I could just get that in my head and heart! He has shown me many times over how I allow fear to rule my heart and life. Yet I walk in fear over and over again. If I want to be the fruitful servant who doubled his portion, I must trust Him completely and walk in obedience moment by moment. I hope and pray that you will walk with me.