Summary: From the parable of the minas, understand our responsibility as believers to be faithful in preaching the Gospel, the task entrusted to us by our Lord.
The things that may happen in the future will affect us today. When we know that this recession will drag on for a long time, we have to make plans - to keep our jobs, spend less save more… The government will have to find ways to create jobs for the retrenched, bring forward projects to stimulate the economy… Knowing what is before us, we need to make adjustments to our lives and plans.
As children of God, we ought to do the same. What plans do we have for the future? If we know that Jesus will one day return, will that affects us today? Do we need to make changes to the way we live? This is the question we’ll think about this morning.
Jesus was preaching about the Kingdom of God. As Jesus and His followers came near to Jerusalem, "the people thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear at once." People were saying, "Jesus plans to overthrow Rome!", "He will come and set up the throne of King David!"
There words were spreading around, and Jesus needs to correct these wrong ideas. Yes, He would one day establish His Kingdom, but not now and not in this manner. And so He told them this parable.
A man of noble birth - a prince - went to a distant country. He was to be appointed as King over that land. Before he leaves, he gave each of His 10 servants 10 minas (a varying unit of weight or money used in ancient Greece and Asia). He said, "Put this money to work until I come back." (v.13).
Luke 19:13 … and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (KJV)
Busy doing something with it UNTIL I come.
(1)preoccupied with it… (2)keep doing it UNTIL I come…
An equal assignment, because all of them were given the same amount. Jesus was explaining to His listeners, that when He himself leaves (at the ascension), He will be giving all His servants a responsibility. The same task will be given to all who follows Him. This refers quite clearly to the Great Commission.
At His departure, Jesus spoke to His disciples:
Matt 28:18-20 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
2 Cor 5:18-20
18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
The nobleman says, "Put the 10 pounds to work…" but he did not restrict them in the manner in which they are going to invest. They are free to do it in different ways. As the story continues, we read that one servant gained 10 pounds more, while another one only 5. Both had 1 pound at the beginning but they earned different amount. While the third servant did not do anything.
The nobleman said, "Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’" (Luke 19:23). The servant could have done the simplest, most easy thing -just deposit it in the bank. At least we can gain some interest.
Notice, the nobleman was not expecting great gain from every one of the servants. He was not demanding 10 pounds gain from everyone of them. In fact, his focus was whether the servants did something with the money. As long as you do something - even the simplest and most easy thing - whether it’s 10pounds or 5pounds gain, I’m happy and you’ll be rewarded.
Today we are living in the time period after Jesus’ ascension and before His return. And He has given us a job to do - share the Gospel. We are all given 10pounds - we are being entrusted with the Gospel. Jesus wants us to do our job faithfully, just as the first two servants. Be faithful in spreading the Gospel… and keep on doing that UNTIL He comes. If He has not come, then we must go on doing it. In whatever ways - whether big ways or small.
We will not all have the same success. Jesus is not expecting all of us to preach like the great evangelist Billy Graham - we must all bring 1000s of people to Christ. His concern is whether we did what we can. Some of us will bring in 10pounds - like disciple Peter - when he preached 1000s came to accept Christ. Others will be like his brother disciple Andrew - who did a simple thing - when he saw Jesus, the first thing he did was to find his brother Peter and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Or disciple Philip who found his friend Nathanael and simply said, "Come and see." (John 1:45-46).