The Parable of the Ten Minas (Pounds)
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 [pounds] 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.' (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.' "
(Luke 19:11-28 NKJV )
The Jews were all wrong in looking for the kingdom of God immediately to appear. Christ was going away to heaven to receive the kingdom from God there — not about to take it from man now and in this world. It is evidently, therefore, this parable is a picture of the Lord's return at the second advent, after having received a kingdom. It was not a question of human willingness or power, but of receiving from God. But then, further, He shows that meanwhile His servants are called to occupy themselves till he come.
He called His ten servants, and delivered to them ten pounds; and said unto them, "Occupy till I come." Then we find another picture — His citizens hating Him; for nothing can be more elaborate than this parable. The Lord's relation to the kingdom at the second advent is contrasted with the grace that flows out in the former part of the chapter. This is the main subject with which the parable opens. Next, we have the place of the servants responsible to use what the Lord gives. Such is another great point shown out here. It is not, as in the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord giving different gifts to different servants, which is equally true; but here it is the moral test of the servants carried out by each having the same sum. This proves yet more than in the other case how far they laboured. They started with similar advantages.
What was the result? Meanwhile hatred became apparent in the citizens, who represent the unbelieving Jews settled down in the earth. "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. Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.'” and so with the other; and then we hear of the one who says, "'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. ‘” There was no confidence in His grace. The consequence is, that, treating the Lord as a severe man, he finds Him severe. Unbelief finds its own response as truly as faith does. As "it is unto you according to your faith," so alas! The converse proves true. It is to man according to his unbelief – and thence his reward.
Further, we have a remarkable difference in the rewards here. It is not, "Enter into the joy of thy Lord;" but one receives ten cities, another five, and so on. He that was fearful and unbelieving, on the contrary, has his mina taken from him. Again, then enemies are brought forward. The unfaithful servant is not called an enemy, though, no doubt, he was no friend of the Son, and dealt with righteously. But the open adversaries are called into the scene; and as the Lord here pronounces those men His enemies which would not: that He should reign over them, He says, "bring them here and slaughter them before me”.
Thus the parable is a very complete sketch of the general results of the Lord's second advent for the citizens of the world, as well as of the occupation and reward of the servants who serve Him faithfully meanwhile. (Verses 11-27.)
Luke - Introductory
Introductory Lectures on the Gospel of Luke