WHEN THE KING’S AWAY
Make me aware, Spirit of God, of what You would say to me today.
Read Luke 19:11–27
The Parable of the Ten Minas
11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15 “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.
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 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 not sow.’
22 “His master 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? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 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.’”
a Luke 19:13 A mina was about three months’ wages.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat’s on your calendar today? How could your God-given gifts transform the way you tackle even the most routine task?
Did you spot the “because” in the first sentence? Look again at the motivation of Jesus in telling this story at this time.
Jesus is acutely conscious that his mission and his time on earth are drawing to a dramatic close. In the parable he tells, the king goes away, leaving his servants in charge, giving them different gifts to manage during the time of absence.
Often in trying to understand this story we focus on the money. In most translations, the master tells his servants to use the money he leaves with them. Some commentators have pointed out that the Greek word here is pragmateuomai meaning “do business, trade” and is reflected in the English “pragmatic.” Jesus is saying, “Get on with what needs doing, the stuff of everyday life, until I come back.” The King James Version expresses it as, “Occupy till I come” (13b).
Following Jesus as Lord isn’t a “free pass” to heaven while we sit back and enjoy the ride. We’re to work hard, to make sure his kingdom comes and that as many as possible have a place there. We must be useful and fruitful because we are accountable.
If you have a to-do list for the day, lay it in front of you. Commit to using all that God has gifted you with while you get on with the stuff of everyday life, whatever that is for you right now.
All I have and all I am are Yours, Lord.