Parable Of The Ten Minas, Luke 19:12-26
Jesus was traveling through Jericho on His way to
Jerusalem. It was early in the day
on Palm Sunday. A rumor
had sprung up among the crowds following Him that when He got there He was going
to establish His Kingdom and defeat all their enemies.
He told them this parable as a way of clarifying how things would happen.
By the way, you'll notice some scholars saying that this is
just another version of the Parable of the Talents.
But while the two stories are generally similar there are too many
material differences to make them two versions of the same event.
Let's read it.
He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country
to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his
servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I
come back.' (Luke 19:12-13)
As will become clear the man of noble birth represents
Jesus who after His resurrection went to Heaven to
be made King of the whole Earth. And
the servants represent His followers.
In the monetary system of the day, a drachma was about one day's wage.
It took 100 drachmas to equal one mina, and 60 minas to equal 1 talent.
Note that each servant was given an equal amount (one mina), a much smaller sum
than even the least of the three servants in the Parable of the Talents.
And remember, a parable is a heavenly truth put into an earthly context,
so everything is symbolic of something else. Therefore, the mina represents
something as valuable to the Lord as about 3 months wages would be to us.
When we reviewed the Parable of the Talents we saw that the
money there represented His Word, the Lord's most prized possession.
Psalm 138:2 says He values His word even above His name.
It's reasonable to assume it's the same here, especially since history
tells us that the one thing the Lord left His followers with was the Gospel, His
According to E.W. Bullinger's “Number In Scripture” the
number 10 denotes a completeness of order.
It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are
perfect; that the whole cycle is complete. The 10 servants and 10 minas indicate
that before the Lord left He gave everyone necessary everything they needed to
spread His Word through out the world.
"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after
him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.' (Luke 19:14)
Here's another difference between the two parables.
No such impression is conveyed in the Parable of the Talents.
There the man was simply going on a journey.
Here he's going off to be made King and some people don't like it.
30 years previously a similar event had actually taken place.
When Herod Archelaus went to Rome to be made King as his father's
successor, a delegation of 50 Jews followed him from Israel where they
petitioned Caesar to give them a Roman governor instead of Archelaus.
According to Josephus over 8,000 Jews who lived in Rome gathered in the
palace to support them as they presented their case against Archelaus.
Needless to say Archelaus was not pleased, and after he was
appointed in spite of their pleas he made his displeasure known to his subjects.
It may be that Jesus used the
incident to remind them (and us) of the dangers in rejecting a duly appointed
King. If so, the warning fell mostly on deaf ears.
A short time later Israel rejected its King and since then untold
millions of Gentiles have done the same thing.
"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. (Luke 19:15)
There was never any doubt that Jesus would be our King.
With His blood He redeemed the entire creation from its bondage to decay
(Romans 8:21) and since then all that remains is for Him to take
possession of that which He has purchased. That day is coming soon, and when it
does there will be loud voices in Heaven saying:
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our
Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)
Two verses later, in Rev. 11:17, God is described as
“the one who is and who was.” No
more “and who is to come.” From
Heaven's perspective, His reign will have already begun even though on Earth the
Great Tribulation is still to come.
Satan and his followers may see the Great Tribulation as a war to determine who
will control Earth, but the Lord sees it as a judgment where Israel will be
purified and the nations will be completely destroyed. (Jeremiah 30:8-11)
Satan is merely being used to help Him accomplish this. (Rev. 17:17)
There's never been any doubt as to the outcome.
When He returns, The LORD will be king over the whole
earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah
Since the King will have already returned at this point in
the parable, we're talking about the time after the 2nd Coming.
Also we'll soon see that the King's servants and His subjects are two
different groups. The first order of
business is to receive a report from the servants.
How have they invested His most precious commodity?
"The first one
came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'
" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied.
'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten
"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned
"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'
Getting a 1000% or
even a 500% return on a small investment is commendable.
But it's unlikely to qualify someone to govern 5 or 10 cities.
Remember, this is a parable.
Everything is symbolic of something else.
The lesson here is that faithfulness in small matters will always bring
disproportionate rewards where the Lord's work is concerned. And even though the
timing is the second coming, the lesson is universal.
For example, our willingness to share the Gospel with even one person
could result in a thousand souls saved over time.
"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your
mina; 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
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 on deposit, so that when I came
back, I could have collected it with interest?' (Luke 19:20-23)
The King was not agreeing with the third servant's
assessment of his character. Rather,
he was saying, “If you think that's the kind of person I am, reaping what I
didn't sow, then you should have made sure
that my money would at least earn me some interest.” The contradiction
between his words and his actions was obvious and became the basis for the
king's judgment against him.
"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away
from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'
" '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 he has 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." (Luke 19:20-26)
Just as each servant was given the same amount of money,
we've all been given the same basic truth of the gospel and can say as Paul
For what I received I passed on to you as of first
importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he
was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
(1 Cor. 15:3-4)
Jesus died for our sins, and the proof that His death was
sufficient to save us is found in the Resurrection.
The Old Testament foretold this, and the New Testament confirms it.
It's the Gospel in its simplest form.
The more we share it with others the more we'll gain. In addition to
saving another soul, teaching someone else the Gospel results in a deeper
understanding for us.
By his own admission, the third servant proved he didn't
know his master. His perception of
the man was all wrong, and while he called himself a servant, he
didn't do even the minimum that was asked of Him. He represents the “in
name only” Christian who really has nothing, and will be surprised to find even
that being taken away.
After the Lord comes back He'll conduct a series of
judgments where those who have survived the Great Tribulation will have to give
account for themselves. At issue
will be whether they've shown that they want Him as their King or not.
Those who have will be welcomed into the Kingdom. Those who haven't will
be banished to the place prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matt. 25:41)
By this parable the Lord was showing that He wouldn't be
setting up His Kingdom in the way the people expected, but would be leaving soon
to be made King. When He returns
He'll reward His followers, punish His enemies, and then He'll establish His
Kingdom. Selah 08-08-09
Since the Lord told both stories only a few days apart
there must have been a reason for them to be so obviously different in key
The Parable of the Talents is in Matthew, a gospel written
with a Jewish audience in mind. The
Parable of the Minas, being in Luke, is meant for Gentiles.
In both cases the evaluation takes place after the 2nd Coming.
The Church Age is a parenthetical pause in the Age of Law.
It interrupted the final 490 year period just 7 years short of its
fulfillment. Gabriel told Daniel the
purpose of the 490 years was to give Israel and Jerusalem time to
accomplish six goals.
"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your
holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and
prophecy and to anoint the most holy (place). (Daniel 9:24)
As you can see, Israel has a ways to go in achieving these
goals, with seven years in which to do it. Once the rapture comes the Church Age
will end and the final 7 years will begin.
It will be very difficult for Gentiles during that period since as it was
in the Old Testament, the path to God will be through Judaism.
If the money in both parables represents God's word, as
I've shown, then Israel has a much greater repository than post-church gentiles
and this could explain the different values used.
In the Talents distribution is of a substantially higher value (it takes
60 minas to equal one talent) and is handed out according to ability to 3
servants. In the Minas a smaller
value goes to 10 servants and everyone gets the same. I believe the use of the
more valuable talents, and the fact
that they're distributed to 3 servants according to ability, offer hints that
the Parable of the Talents has Israel in mind.
In Judaism, the number three is very important.
It's the symbol of holiness. In the Temple, the Holy of Holies occupied
one-third, and the Holy Place two-thirds. The tapestries were ten times three
ells in length (one ell = 3.75 feet), and there were three vessels each for the
altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense, and the Ark. The menorah had
three arms on a side, and each arm had three knobs. The blessing of the priest
consisted of three sections (Num. 6:24, 25), and in the invocation of God the
word "holy" was repeated three times.
There are the three forefathers, (Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob) the three mitzvos of the seder (lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter
herbs), the three means of gaining atonement (repentance, prayer and charity),
the three items in the fore-room of the Temple (the table of showbread, the
menorah, and the gold altar) the three pillars in the Talmud (Torah,
Service of God, and Acts of Kindness.)
The list goes on.
That means the Parable of the 10 minas describes the
gentile world. Everybody gets enough
to save themselves, but there's only one Temple and getting there will be
impossible for many.
Here's another instance where the Parable of the 10 Minas
differs from the Parable of the Talents. It doesn't appear that the wicked
servant was dismissed, just relieved of the mina he'd been given.
But in the Parable of the Talents the unproductive servant not only had
the talent taken from him but was thrown into the Outer Darkness as well.
In Matt. 12:37 the Lord said, “By your
words you will be acquitted and by your words you'll be condemned.”
The one who says, “Lord save me” will be saved, like everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) The one who says, “I'll save
myself” in whatever form the words take, will be condemned.