Summary: A continuation of a study of the parable of the minas
“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.”—Luke 19:26
LABORING WITH THE GOSPEL (Part II)
In our Early Morning Worship, we began a discussion of Jesus’ Parable of the Minas or the Pounds. We said that this parable is not very well known among Jesus’ teachings because of the misconception that this is simply Luke’s version of the popular parable of the talents recorded in the 25th chapter of Matthew. In truth, while there are several similarities between the parables, there are some notable differences that make this parable worth a second look.
The Parable of the Talents teaches us about the importance of stewardship—properly managing the resources that God has entrusted to us. The Parable of the Minas teaches us about the importance of our laboring for the Gospel—to use the gift of the Gospel entrusted to us for the growth of Christ’s kingdom. In the Parable of the Talents, the main character is a house-holder, but in the Parable of the Minas, the main character is a Nobleman who would return as a King, and this represents the character of Christ, who entered into the world the first time as the Promised Messiah, but would re-turn as the Conquering King. In the parable of the Talents, each servant received a different-sized gift—according to his ability. But in the parable of the Minas, each servant received the same gift, and this gift represented the Gospel truth that has been entrusted to every believer. In each of the parables, the charge to the servants was the same—do the best that you can with what you’ve been given. But in the case of this parable, this is not so much a reference to stewardship as it is to spiritual responsibility and faithfulness. In that the minas represent the truth of the Gospel, Jesus was charging his hearers with the responsibility of utilizing the Gospel to produce a profit—the addition of more lost people into the Kingdom; this profit would be reflected in fewer people living in darkness and more people walking in the Light. And as we come to discover by the end of this parable, there are consequences for failing to use what has been entrusted to us.
Church, unless we use our spiritual gift, we run the risk of losing our access to the power that is inherent in it. Now, let us be clear about what we’re talking about. The spiritual gift referred to here has nothing to do with gifts of the Holy Spirit, but has to do with the gift that is given to each believer in Jesus Christ at the moment of his belief —the gift of the truth of the Gospel. You see, all of us have different gifts of the Holy Spirit, which God distributes as He chooses. Some of us possess several gifts of the Holy Spirit, while others of us have only one or two. In that regard, gifts of the Holy Spirit relate more to the Matthew 25 parable than to the Luke 19 parable. But before we get to gifts of the Holy Spirit, the first gift that each believer receives is the gift of the truth of the Gospel. It’s a gift that’s the same for everybody; it’s a gift that’s available to everybody; it’s a gift that demands the same criteria from everybody—“believe and you shall be saved”; it’s a gift that promises the same result for everybody—forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God and assurance of an eternal place with Him in Heaven. And it’s a gift that carries with it the same charge for everybody—the Nobleman has charged his servants to put the gift to us to make a profit.