Minas – Luke 19:11-27

I.  INTRODUCTION

A. RR – Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

B. Really?

1.  Jesus spoke this to a crowd of people who’d lived their whole lives under a heavy burden of religious traditions & rituals.

2.  Religion was not something they enjoyed. 

a.  It was “dry-as-dust” duty,

b.  An onerous obligation.

3.  Jesus invited them to something very different;

a.  He called them, not to elaborate religious rituals,

b.  But to a relationship with God that was a delight,

c.  He invited them into something that wasn’t exhausting; it was meant to bring them rest.

4.  That invitation is as potent & real today as when first spoken 2,000 years ago.

5.  So let’s begin this morning by asking ourselves – Can we honestly say we’re enjoying what Jesus says here?

a.  Is our faith a delight?  Are we enjoying God?

b.  Are we at rest, or heavy burdened & exhausted?

6.  Keep this in mind as we turn to our main text in Luke 19.

a.  At first glance, these two passages have little in common.

b.  But I think we’ll see there’s an important connection between them before we end today.

 

II. TEXT

A. V. 11

11 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.

1.  Jesus had made it clear they were headed to Jerusalem for the Passover which was just over a week away.

2.  The conflict between He & the religious leaders had grown to the breaking point.

3.  Many of the people had come to believe it was during this trip to celebrate the Passover that Jesus would finally present Himself to the nation as the Messiah and would claim the throne of David.

4.  Though Jesus had tried to warn them His mission was very different from what they expected, they still clung to their mistaken ideas of the coming Kingdom.

6.  So Jesus told another parable to illustrate what was about to occur, and how they were to live in light of coming events.

B. Vs. 12-26

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, and 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.’

1.  One of the rules we use for understanding parables is that they’re meant to teach one main lesson – and such is the case with this parable.

2.  But as Jesus tells this story, He gives some details that would make it especially relevant to His audience.

3.  You see, about 30 years before, when Herod the Great died, he left the throne of Israel to his 3 sons; Antipas, Philip, & Archelaus.

4.  Archelaus was given Judea, the southern & most important region because that’s where Jerusalem was located.

5.  Now, Archelaus wasn’t nearly as competent a ruler as his father & the Jewish leadership began to hassle him, refusing to recognize his authority.

6.  Archelaus went to Rome to have the Emperor affirm his appointment as king off Judea.

7.  But the Jews also sent a delegation of 50 of their most outstanding men.

a.  Augustus had little choice but to recognize Herod’s appointment of Archelaus,

b.  But the Jews made such a fuss, he declined to give Archelaus the title of, “King.”

8.  As Jesus speaks here in v. 12 of a nobleman who went to a far country to receive his kingdom,

a.  But was followed by a delegation of citizens who hated him and refused to submit to him –

b.  The people couldn’t help but think of Archelaus and the Jewish delegation that went to Rome to oppose his appointment.

9.  But Jesus wasn’t just retelling their past.  He used their history as foreshadowing of what was to come.

10.     You see, just as the Jewish leaders refused to accept Archelaus as their sovereign, they were now, 30 years later, rejecting Jesus as their Messiah-King.

a.  He was going to Jerusalem for the final showdown with them.

b.  They would reject Him, put Him on a cross & try to be done with Him.

c.  But He would rise from the dead & ascend into heaven where He would receive the Kingdom from His Heavenly Father.

11.     In the parable, when the nobleman left, he distributed his wealth to 10 of His servants.

a.  Each servant was given a mina – about 3 months wages for a common laborer.

b.  This was no paltry sum, specially for a servant.  It represented a small fortune.

12.     Each servant was to take what was given him, and use it in a manner that would profit the master.

13.     In the same way as the parable, Jesus has now received the Kingship & will come again, bringing the Kingdom to Earth.

a.  In the meantime, He’s distributed to His servants, you & I, the precious resources of time, talent, and treasure.

b.  Our objective is to use them to the glory of God and the profit of His kingdom.

14.     While that’s the objective, it turns out not all the servants do what they’re supposed to with what they’ve been given.

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.’

15.     Through wise investing, this guy made a 1000% increase!

17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’

16.     Don’t miss this – The minas were a test.

a.  The nobleman knew that when he returned it would be to rule over a kingdom.

b.  When he left, he assigned his servants a portion of his wealth so that he might KNOW who would be the best assistants in ruling His Kingdom.

c.  This servant who’d turned 1 mina into 10 was assigned the oversight of 10 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.’

17.     Though not as skilled as the first guy, this servant had also made a significant profit and was given an administration in the Kingdom of what he could handle.

20 “Then another came, . . .   [STOP]

18.     This servant isn’t given a number as the first & second were.

a.  It doesn’t say he’s the third,

b.  He’s just “another” servant

19.     Take note of that.  We’ll come back to it in a moment -

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.

20.     When the master returned and the servants lined up to give account for what they’d done with what they’d received, this guy stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out the original mina and handed it back.

a.  In other word, he’d done exactly NOTHING with it!

b.  His reason for doing nothing was really lame!

c.  He said that He knew the Master had so much power that He takes profit from all kinds of things.

d.  In other words, the Master was such a wise investor & so good at making a profit, he didn’t need the servant’s meager efforts.

21.     The Master was furious with this servant’s refusal to obey the original command in v. 13 – Which was, “Do business till I come.”

     a.  He’d not done business.

b.  He’d wasted the potential of that mina.

c.  Even if the guy had put it in a savings account it would have done something.

22.     The Master’s power ought not have been an excuse to do nothing.  It ought to have been a motive & encouragement to do something.

23.     The master then declared the servant unfit, took the mina from him and gave it to the one who’d been most effective.

24.     To the other servants this didn’t seem fair.  Why not give the mina to one of them who had less? Why not distribute the wealth a bit more evenly?

25.     Jesus answers by telling them that those who’ve been faithful with the little they have will be rewarded with much more – while those who’ve been unfaithful and have foolishly squandered what they have, will lose even that.

26.     The rewards we will receive from God when we arrive in heaven will far surpass the faithfulness we’ve shown in the things of this life.

a.  There’s a game show on TV.  Contestants compete by answering trivia questions.

b.  The winner is determined by who has the most money at the end of a week.

c.  Now, the winner usually has about $50,000 in accumulated winnings; that’s how much he/she has actually earned by answering questions correctly.

d.  But he/she doesn’t take home a mere $50K – the prize they’ve won is a Million dollars!  The prize far outstrips the actual winnings they’ve accumulated.

27.     That’s the way it’ll be for those of us who’ve been faithful with the time, talent, & treasure God has given us.

a.  If we’ve used it all faithfully for the Lord, investing it wisely so that it returns Him profit,

b.  Then He will reward us with blessings that far outstrip the meager things we’ve managed to produce.

28.     What’s tragic is to realize that some people don’t get it!  They do nothing with what they’ve been given.

a.  They squander time on frivolous & empty pursuits.

b.  They waste the talents God has given them on vain & selfish things.

c.  And they misuse the treasure God has so gracious bestowed on them by either frittering it away on silly things or hoarding it to themselves.

29.     As I mentioned before, note that the servant who got called down for his unfaithfulness isn’t called the third servant; he’s just “another” servant.

a.  Interesting – in v. 13 TEN servants were called and given a mina each.

b.  Yet as the story unfolds, only 3 are spoken of in the follow-up.

c.  The first & second are identified as such, then the counting stops.

d.  The unfaithful servant was one of ten; whether he was the fifth, or eighth, or tenth, is not important.

e.  So what about the 7 servants who aren’t mentioned?

f.   Did they invest wisely & receive a reward or did they squander their mina too?

g.  That’s the point – you & I are those other servants. 

h.  And we’re deciding right now what we’ll do with the resources the Lord has given us.

30.     This parable of the minas sounds like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, but they are not the same.

a.  In that parable, different amounts were given to 3 servants.

b.  In this parable, the same amount is given to 10 servants.

c.  The 2 parables, while similar, are different.

1) The parable of the talents speaks specifically about our stewardship of money.

2) The parable of the minas speaks about how we use the life God has given us.

3) That’s why all 10 get the same thing – 1 mina – 1 small fortune.

31.     If we live the life God has given us for His glory, then we do well.

32.     If we live for ourselves, then we lose.

33.     That’s the bottom line of this parable.

C. V. 27

1.  Jesus finishes the story with v. 27 -

27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

2.  This is where Jesus’ reference to Archelaus 30 years earlier ends.

a.  Archelaus had never ordered the execution of the Jews who opposed him.

b.  This refers to what will occur when Jesus comes again.

c.  Those who reject Him and resist his dominion will be crushed.

3.  And when Jesus comes again, the opportunity for faithfulness will have passed.

4.  That will be the day of reckoning, of accounting.

III. CONCLUSION

A. Now . . .

1.  We began this morning by reading Jesus’ invitation to rest in Matthew 11.

2.  How does that passage correlate to this parable?

3.  There doesn’t seem to be much connection between the 2 passages.

4.  But there is and I want to share it with you this morning.

B. Always On

1.  I don’t know about you, but when I read the parable of the minas, along with some of the other parables Jesus told about the need to be faithful, I feel a kind of pressure.

2.  Do you?

3.  I read this, and know God has given me a time, talent, and treasure.

a.  I know He’s coming again, and could, in fact, come at any moment.

b.  We could suddenly find ourselves face to face with Jesus,

c.  Then, we’d give account for how we’ve lived and what we’ve done with what He’s given.

4.  So when I read a passage like this – I find myself concluding I have to always be “on.”

a.  I have to mind my P’s & Q’s.

b.  I have to work hard, keep my head down, eye on the ball, nose to the grindstone.

c.  This parable moves me to ask,

1) “What more can I do?”

2) “Where am I slacking off?”

3) “If Jesus were to come right now, would my life & work have been enough, or would I come up short?”

5.  I don’t know how else to say it but that this parable, taken in isolation, makes me feel like I always have to be ON.

6.  And if I’m not, then I’m a wicked slacker; a lazy, unprofitable servant.

7.  But it’s exhausting always having to be ON.  The pressure to be faithful is tiring!

8.  This is why we need to add Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11 to what we read in Luke 19.

9.  Listen to it again –

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

10.     The great difference between the parable of the minas and our application of it  is that Jesus isn’t in a far country.

11.     He’s here, with us – lending His strength, wisdom, & love to our lives.

12.     He doesn’t give us a job – He invites us into a relationship.

13.     He doesn’t put pressure on us and tell us we always have to be on.

14.     He gives Himself completely to us, and says that if we will give ourselves completely to Him, He’ll do the work through us.

C. Tired?

1.  Christian – Are you tired?

2.  Is your religion a burden that weighs you down & bums you out?

3.  If so, please understand what you’ve been calling Christianity is not what Jesus has in mind.

4.  More than anything, what Jesus wants is for you to come alivefully alive in the glory of His mercy & grace.

5.  He said, “I have come that you might have life. Not life as most people think of & experience it – but life that is overflowing with peace & joy.”

6.  You see – Jesus doesn’t want us to be always ON – He wants us to be always IN – in Him, in fellowship & communion with Him.

7.  In Matthew 25, Jesus praises those who’ve faithfully used the time, talent & treasure He gave them by serving Him

a.  Remember?  They brought Him water when He was thirsty.

b.  They clothed Him when He was naked.

c.  They visited Him when He was in prison

d.  After Jesus commended them, they expressed their surprise and said, “When do we do these things for You?”

e.  Jesus replied, “When you did it to others in my name, you did it to Me.”

8.  Their service of God had been so automatic, they didn’t even remember the things Jesus commended them for.

9. They were so close to the Lord, so in love with Him, their service was never seen as work at all.

10.     Christian – if you’re tired, weary of always having to be ON because Jesus could come at any moment – please know that that is not at all God’s heart for you.

11.     He wants to give all of Himself to you.  But He can only do that if you’ll give all of yourself to Him.

12.     That’s why the invitation begins with the words – “Come to Me!”