The Parable of the Ten Minas

Lenten Devotions

A Walk Through the Book of Luke

Luke 19: 11-27

April 4, 2023

The Parable of the Ten Minas

(I need to begin with an explanation. For those of you who regularly read my devotions, you probably noticed I didn’t post one yesterday. My wife, who had been in the hospital and rehab, came home yesterday. She is my priority when it comes to my writing. I pray you understand.) Joe G.

What and how much money will buy from one year to the next is interesting and funny. I was born in 1951. When I was a youngster in the 1950s, a two-pack of Twinkies was only 10 cents; today, it’s $1.99.

A pack of chewing gum was 5 cents. Today, depending on where you purchase it, a pack of gum can cost over $1. When I first began going to the movie theater with friends, around 1960-61, if you were under the age of 12, it cost 25-50 cents to enter. Today, we spend anywhere from $8 to $11 per person, sometimes more if it’s a 3D movie. That’s to watch one movie.

Back in the 1960s, for that aforementioned 25-50 cents, you would watch two movies and cartoons during the intermission. Finally, here’s one that will hit home. Gas was 19 cents a gallon. As of today, at the station I frequent, the cost is $3.49 a gallon.

Putting this all into perspective, one has to also know that the average weekly wage in 1960 was just $60.

In today’s parable, a Mina that Jesus talks about is worth three months in wages. So keep that in mind as you read today’s devotion.

******************************The Point**************************

Let’s take a few minutes to read today’s parable. What do you believe a mina really is in today’s story?

“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. 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. (19:13 A mina was about three months’ wages.) ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

 “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.

 “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 cities.’

 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

 “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 not sow.’

 “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? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

 “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 they have 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.'”

The long and short of this parable is that Jesus told, is to correct the expectations of His followers. They believed that a worldly revolution would soon establish Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. He points out the rejection of the nobleman who rejected the idea he should be made king.

Jesus himself was soon to be rejected. Like the nobleman in the parable, there would be a time when Jesus would be away (today, we still await His triumphant return.)

The nobleman gave each ten servants a mina to “put to work” to increase his wealth. Jesus expects (us) His followers, to take His teachings and bring them to the world. Thus, increasing those who believe and are saved.

There will be a time when Jesus does return. Those who have done what He charged us with, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” will be rewarded with salvation. Those who do not will be punished and receive eternal punishment, much like the servant who did nothing with the Mina, he was given.

I began this devotion by discussing how much things cost 60 years ago. First, I mentioned how much several items like gum and gas cost then and now.

But, these are worldly items, gas, gum, and Twinkies, that I spoke of. Our salvation is not about this world; it is about eternity.

Our hope of eternal life is wrapped up in Jesus’ final word to His disciples in the book of Matthew.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

Christ has not returned yet. When He does, and you and I stand before Him, what will we have done with the Mina (Gospel Message) He gave us. Will we have made it grow or just buried it?

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